QB Jeremiah Masoli restructures deal, will return to Ottawa Redblacks

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Jeremiah Masoli has decided to stick with the Ottawa Redblacks.

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With the 35-year-old quarterback due a $100,000 bonus Monday, the Redblacks beat the deadline and have gotten Masoli, who has missed much of the past two CFL seasons because of injuries, to agree to a restructured contract.

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The deal seems to be good for both the team and for Masoli.

If Masoli, whose contract called for an additional $400,000 to play the upcoming season, had decided against accepting the restructured contract, he would have pocketed the $100,000, then likely would have been released by Ottawa. That would have left him free to negotiate with any of the league’s other eight teams. He took less money to stay with the Redblacks.

According to a report by 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, Masoli will get a $45,000 signing bonus, giving him $133,800 in hard money. He can earn up to $90,000 more in playtime incentives, broken down to $5,000 per game for playing 51 per cent or more of the team’s offensive snaps. His maximum earning potential is $236,800. 

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Dunk also reported Masoli’s hard money amount is higher than Dane Evans ($94,000 hard money and $151,000 maximum value), Matthew Shiltz ($125,000 hard money and $205,000 maximum value), and Nick Arbuckle ($130,000 hard money and $229,000 maximum value) received in 2023. But, again, take into account … the Redblacks were going to have to pay Masoli $100,000 anyway. 

There’s uncertainty surrounding the timeline of Masoli’s return from a ruptured Achilles tendon (from last July). He may not be ready for the start of training camp. Masoli also had an ACL tear in 2019 while with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and a bone-based leg injury in July of 2022 that knocked him out for the rest of that season for the Redblacks. 

There’s also this: Masoli has plenty of experience working with Tommy Condell, the Redblacks’ new offensive co-ordinator.

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With that in mind, the Redblacks are expected to sign a free agent – Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Dru Brown would seem like the most likely option — who would compete for the No. 1 quarterback job. Last year, Brown completed 62-of-89 passes, with nine of them going for touchdowns. And, he had no interceptions. His best game — in August against Edmonton – saw him throw for 307 yards and four touchdowns.

Dustin Crum, who started much of last year after Masoli went down last season, will return and also compete for playing time. 

Others on Ottawa’s quarterback wish list could include former Blue Bomber Chris Streveler, Matthew Shiltz (with Hamilton last year) and Taylor Cornelius (recently released by Edmonton). Longshots include Mason Fine and Jake Dolegala, both with Saskatchewan last season.

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