B.C. Lions sign QB Vernon Adams Jr. to contract extension through 2026

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions have signed quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. to a contract extension through the 2026 CFL season, per sources.

Adams Jr. receives a $200,000 signing bonus with $395,000 hard money in 2024, $500,000 hard money in 2025 and $505,000 hard money in 2026 with half his base salary guaranteed in the final year.

The 31-year-old produced his best season so far in Canada last year and earned $340,000. He completed 68 percent of his passes for a CFL-best 4,769 yards with 31 touchdowns versus 18 interceptions while rushing 48 times for 324 yards and one major. No. 3 led the three-down league with ten 300-yard passing games and guided B.C. to a 12-6 record in the West Division.

Adams Jr. was acquired by the Lions via trade from the Montreal Alouettes on August 31, 2022, after Canadian QB Nathan Rourke suffered a Lisfranc sprain to his right foot. Big play VA threw for 1,504 yards with six touchdowns compared to one interception while posting a 4-2 win-loss record as a starter.

During the 2019 campaign, he established himself as the Als’ No. 1 QB while leading the team to its first playoff appearance since 2014. That year Adams Jr. completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,942 yards with 24 touchdowns — second in the CFL — versus 13 interceptions. He ran 82 times for 394 yards and 12 majors while adding one receiving touchdown.

The Pasadena, Calif. native has completed 64 percent of his passes for 13,261 yards with 80 touchdowns, and 45 interceptions over 99 career CFL games as a member of the Als, Saskatchewan Roughriders and Leos. The five-foot-11, 200-pound passer has run 265 times for 1,431 yards and 21 majors.

He started his NCAA career at Eastern Washington University. Through three seasons with the Eagles, he completed 65 percent of his passes for 10,438 yards with 110 touchdowns versus 31 interceptions while rushing 297 times for 1,205 yards and 11 touchdowns.

For his senior year, Adams Jr. transferred to the University of Oregon. During the 2015 season with the Ducks, he completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,643 yards with 26 touchdowns compared to six interceptions. The dual-threat QB finished his collegiate career with a 35-9 win-loss record.

The Lions originally had Adams Jr. on the team’s negotiation list and traded him to Montreal in May 2016 for a first-round pick in the 2017 CFL Draft.

The Lions open the 2024 season on Sunday, June 9 in Toronto against the Argonauts at 7 p.m. ET.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.