B.C. Lions give Vernon Adams Jr. vote of confidence following NFL departure of Nathan Rourke

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions have given veteran quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. a vote of confidence following the departure of Nathan Rourke to the NFL.

“Our organization is excited to move ahead with Vernon Adams Jr. as our quarterback,” said head coach and co-general manager Rick Campbell in a statement on Monday. “Vernon was instrumental to our success in 2022 and we look forward to building on it this season.”

Rourke agreed to a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars this past weekend and will look to earn the backup job behind Trevor Lawrence in 2023 with the long-term goal of becoming an NFL starter.

The Lions traded for Adams on Aug. 31, 2022 after Rourke underwent surgery to repair and sprained Lisfranc in his foot, a procedure that was initially expected to end his season. He started six games for the team, throwing for 1,504 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception and leading the team to a 4-2 record before Rourke returned to resume the starting role in the postseason.

Adams started the first two games of this past season for the Montreal Alouettes before losing the starting job to Trevor Harris. He completed 21-of-39 pass attempts for 294 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions and rushed seven times for 33 yards and a touchdown over those contests.

The 30-year-old restructured his contract before being traded to B.C. and is due $151,500 in hard money this upcoming season, which is a bargain for a veteran starter. He can earn an additional $11,111.11 per game for each contest he starts and another $1,388.88 per game in which he plays more than 51 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He can also collect a $25,000 bonus if he throws for 20 or more touchdown passes.

If he were to reach all of his incentives, Adams would take home just over $4000,000 in 2023, which is close to market value for a starting quarterback. He has thrown for 8,492 yards, 49 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions over 75 career games since entering the CFL in 2016 along with 217 carries for 1,107 yards and 20 touchdowns.