Bridge is ready to become a leader
REGINA — Quarterback Brandon Bridge took certainty over the potential of more money.
The native of Mississauga, Ont., signed a one-year extension with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday. Bridge was eligible to become a free agent in February.
"It actually feels good to know where I'm going to be at in 2018," Bridge said during a news conference. "I just wanted to be somewhere that actually wanted me.
"Obviously in free agency some teams may want you and some teams may not. Saskatchewan really showed their love and their dedication of trying to get me back early throughout the year . . . that was kind of like a big part of it, by having that type of love. I wanted to be in an environment where I was comfortable."
The 25-year-old was 92-of-138 passing for 1,236 yards and 10 TDs and four interceptions this season with Saskatchewan. He started one game, a 27-19 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Bridge finished 21-of-31 passing for 231 yards and three TDs in becoming the first Canadian quarterback to throw three touchdowns in a game since Calgary's Greg Vavra did so in 1984.
Bridge served as veteran Kevin Glenn's backup with Saskatchewan last season, his third in the CFL. He began his Canadian career in 2015 with Montreal before being released on Aug. 1, 2016.
He signed with Saskatchewan nine days later.
"It is a real positive to get Brandon under contract for next season so we can continue to build with our core group of players," Chris Jones, Saskatchewan's head coach/GM, said in a statement. "Brandon is a good young quarterback who has shown a lot of growth.
"A player with his size, athletic ability and competitive drive has unlimited potential."
Jeremy O'Day, the Riders assistant vice-president of football operations, said the club is hopeful Bridge can continue to develop and ultimately become the club's starter.
"He's kind of taken a progression, a step forward this year where he's got an opportunity to play more," O'Day said. "Now it's just about getting more of an opportunity and trying to do it on a consistent basis because what the game's all about is playing with consistency."
Bridge said in his exit meeting with Jones the Riders' coach emphasized the importance of leadership at the quarterback position and fully understanding situations on the field.
"My big-play ability can get us in some great opportunities but it can also put us in second and forever," Bridge said. "It's the maturity thing.
"Sometimes it's good to check the ball down and live another day or throw the ball away. Sometimes it's time to put on your Superman cape and make a play."