HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats sent quarterback Zach Collaros to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday for a second-round draft choice, shedding salary and adding to their stockpile of draft picks.
The trade comes amid a report Hamilton is close to re-signing quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who made 10 starts last season and saw action in every game. The Ticats also have former NCAA star Johnny Manziel on their negotiation list, with a green light to sign him from the CFL.
Saskatchewan gave up the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft to get Collaros, a former Ticat starter who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in September 2015.
The Riders acquired the pick in the deal that sent quarterback Darian Durant to Montreal.
The Tiger-Cats now hold the second, 10th, 11th and 15th overall selections in the 2018 CFL draft. Hamilton has nine picks in all in the May 3 draft.
For Saskatchewan, Collaros joins a quarterbacking corps that includes Canadian Brandon Bridge and veteran Kevin Glenn.
The 29-year-old Collaros started eight games in 2017, completing 167 of 266 passes for 1,767 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.
In 59 career CFL games with Toronto and Hamilton, the six-foot 219-pounder has thrown for 13,759 yards and 83 touchdowns. Collaros was the Tiger-Cats' nominee for Most Outstanding Player in 2014 and 2015.
"I am happy for Zach to land on his feet with on Wednesday a chance to be on a good team that can compete for a championship, and not a rebuilding situation," Hamilton coach June Jones said in a statement.
"As I said during the season, Zach was put into a difficult situation, as was I, and he handled himself as a true pro. He came to work every day and tried to be the best he could be. Zach was an asset to me and our team in the areas he could control. There is no question in my mind had he gotten his chance again to play for me, he would have been successful.
"I saw enough in practice and witnessed his work ethic to know he is a tough kid and a winner. As I told him, this is a business. Zach understands the game, and the business. I wish him all the best and so does everyone in our organization."
As for Manziel, the CFL announced in late December that it would approve a contract for the controversial QB if one was negotiated.
"We appreciate the CFL office and commissioner Randy Ambrosie's due diligence in this matter," the Ticats said at the time. "We also recognize Johnny Manziel for thus far demonstrating the attributes necessary to continue his career in our great league. We will have no further comment at this time."
The 25-year-old was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy while at Texas A&M but failed to impress in the NFL with Cleveland as stories about his off-field activities overshadowed his play.
Hamilton finished out of the playoffs last season at 6-12-0. Saskatchewan (10-8-0) lost 25-21 to Toronto in the Eastern final after crossing over and beating Ottawa in the semifinal.
The Riders finished fifth in passing yards (5,416) during the 2017 regular season but lead the league in passing TDs (35).
TSN's Matthew Scianitti reports Collaros is owed a $200,000 roster bonus on February 1 as part of his contract. TSN CFL Insider Dave Naylor reports the Roughriders will likely try renegoiate Collaros' contract, which is set to pay him roughly $525,000 in 2018. Naylor reports the team wants Collaros to earn the starting job next season and have a contract that reflects that.