Jason Clermont is coming home.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced Friday that they had signed the free agent slotback who was also being pursued by the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts.
"I am unbelievably excited for the chance to fulfill my childhood dream of playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders," Clermont said in a statement. "I look forward to working with the coaching staff and teammates this off-season in getting prepared to earn a roster spot in training camp. Being home with my family and having a new appreciation for the opportunity to play football will provide great motivation for me to help the Riders win in 2009."
A Regina native, Clermont caught 50 passes for 640 yards this season before missing the last three games of the campaign with a strained MCL. He returned to the lineup for the West Division semifinal win over Saskatchewan.
"This is a great day for our franchise," stated Riders' GM Eric Tillman. "Not only did we get much better as a team, but we did so via a truly feel-good story. Jason Clermont returns home and, finally, he will get to wear green, the colour he was born to wear."
Clermont was drafted fourth overall by the Lions in 2002 and earned Most Outstanding Rookie honours in his first year. In 2004, he was named the league's Most Outstanding Canadian during the regular season and captured the same honour in the Lions' Grey Cup loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
In 2006, he helped the Lions defeat the Montreal Alouettes in the Grey Cup. The following season, he earned the Most Outstanding Canadian award for a second time.
Over his seven-year tenure with the Lions, Clermont caught 428 passes for 5,917 yards.
The 30-year-old was released last week in part because he was due a $94,000 roster bonus on January 1st, and stood to make roughly $180,000 next year.