Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Collaros More Than Willing to Skip Free Agency to Re-Sign with Ticats

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Collaros More Than Willing to Skip Free Agency to Re-Sign with Ticats

Article excerpt

Collaros happy to remain with Ticats

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HAMILTON - Zach Collaros didn't need to hit the open market to know where he wanted to spend the next three years of his CFL career.

The veteran quarterback was scheduled to become a free agent in February 2017 and would've certainly been a hot commodity. But Collaros opted to stay put, signing a new three-year contract this week with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"There's no other place I'd rather be," Collaros said Tuesday. "I love the city, the fans.

"The three years I've been here, there's still a lot of guys who are still here. We've been close to the ultimate goal (Grey Cup win), we haven't got it yet. I love those guys and wanted to be around them for three more years and hopefully win a couple of those things."

Financial details weren't provided but Collaros's deal is said to be worth more than $1.5 million. Collaros will reportedly be the CFL's highest-paid player next year (over $520,000) ahead of Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly ($515,000).

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant will reportedly be the league's highest-paid player this year at around $450,000 after taking a paycut this off-season. All three players are represented by Vancouver-based agent Dan Vertlieb.

Durant is scheduled to become a free agent this off-season.

"It was important (to get deal done before season)," Collaros said. "I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders . . . any uncertainty is out the door now and that's exciting."

Kent Austin, Hamilton's head coach/vice-president of football operations, said Collaros's desire to remain with the Ticats was pivotal to a deal getting done.

"He wanted to be here, which was most important," Austin said. "The commitment you make as an organization you want to make sure you're committing for the right reasons and that it's reciprocated for the right reasons."

But it still took the Ticats and Vertlieb months to hammer out the deal.

"Of course there were sticking points," Austin chuckled. "That's why (negotiations) lasted so long."

The deal ensures Hamilton keeps its offensive leader for the immediate future although Collaros won't start Thursday night when the Ticats visit the Toronto Argonauts in the season opener at BMO Field. …

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