‘Did some good stuff in the CFL’: Brian Daboll explains why New York Giants claimed Canadian QB Nathan Rourke

Courtesy: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

New York Giants’ head coach Brian Daboll has respect for Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke.

The G-Men claimed the 25-year-old on waivers. The Atlanta Falcons also put a claim in but he went to NYC because the Giants had a higher waiver priority.

“Thought it was a good claim. Joe [Schoen] put a claim in, we got him. Have another arm,” Daboll said. “Did some good stuff in the CFL. Watched his stuff at Jacksonville. He was at the Patriots. Thought he was a good player to add. We thought Nathan was a good player to add to the roster.”

Rourke worked out for the Giants as a QB in January 2023 during his extensive offseason NFL tour. In May 2021, he was invited to the G-Men rookie mini-camp as a receiver when Dave Gettleman was general manager and Joe Judge head coach.

The six-foot-two, 209-pound QB was waived by the New England Patriots on Monday, which came after the team selected two quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft: Drake Maye third overall and Joe Milton in round six. New England signed veteran Jacoby Brissett to a one-year contract in free agency with $5 million USD in guarantees.

The Giants did not select a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft and have three other quarterbacks currently under contract: Daniel Jones, Drew Lock, and second-year man Tommy DeVito.

Rourke joined the Pats on Dec. 18, 2023, after he was claimed off waivers from the Jaguars. He dressed for the final three games of the season and was New England’s primary backup for the team’s regular-season finale, though he didn’t see any game action. The dual-threat passer earned $519,668 USD in his first NFL season.

The Oakville, Ont. native signed with the Jags last off-season after an extensive NFL workout tour. During three preseason games with Jacksonville, he completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 348 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions while running the ball 14 times for 39 yards and one touchdown. He was waived after training camp but signed to the team’s practice roster and was activated for three regular season games.

During the 2022 CFL season, Rourke completed 78.7 percent of his passes for 3,349 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while starting for the B.C. Lions. He ran 39 times for 304 yards (7.8 per carry) and seven touchdowns during 10 regular season games, including nine starts. The Ohio University graduate was named the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian despite missing half the season with a Lisfranc injury.

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