Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans appears to be leaving Steeltown — one way or another.
At 9:33 a.m. EST on Saturday morning, the 29-year-old pivot shared a short video clip to his Instagram story of two U-Hauls and a pair of vehicles ready for departure. He captioned the video with a peace sign emoji and a Hamilton location tag, seemingly indicating that he and his young family were leaving the city.
Evans had made Southern Ontario his home after signing an extension with the Ticats last offseason to make him the team’s franchise quarterback, ensuring that his baby daughter would be born in Canada. With his future with the team now in jeopardy, the family may be ducking out early.
The fifth-year quarterback took over as the Ticats’ undisputed starter for the first time in 2022, carrying high expectations after helping lead the team to consecutive Grey Cup appearances in a tandem effort with veteran Jeremiah Masoli. Evans failed to reward that faith, throwing for 3,883 passing yards while tossing just 16 touchdowns and a league-leading 16 interceptions. He also committed more fumbles than any other quarterback, finishing with a passer rating of 90.2 — tenth among players with at least 100 pass attempts.
Evans struggled again in the playoffs, throwing for 123 yards and one interception in the East Semi-Final. He was pulled early in the third quarter with his team down 22-6, giving way to backup Matthew Shiltz in a loss to the Montreal Alouettes.
The Sanger, Texas native dubbed the 2022 season the “toughest mental year of sports” in his life as a result of his struggles and the offseason won’t get any easier. Last week, the Ticats executed a trade with the Calgary Stampeders to acquire the negotiating rights to pending free-agent quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. While head coach Orlondo Steinauer played coy when asked what that move meant for Evans’ future with the team, it is unlikely the two passers could co-exist if Mitchell ultimately signs.
Evans is scheduled to make approximately $455,000 in 2023, the final year of his contract. While that deal could be renegotiated, it seems far more likely that he will find himself traded or released by the only CFL team he has ever known.
Though he is keeping quiet publicly, the quarterback’s move seems to acknowledge that reality. While Evans’ Instagram page remains filled with Ticats pictures, his bio notably does not list a team affiliation.