Lynch headed to Canadian league


Quarterback Jordan Lynch scans and prepares to launch the ball downfield during Saturday’s game against Central Michigan.

By Frank Gogola

After calling himself a NIU Huskie and a Chicago Bear — albeit briefly — quarterback Jordan Lynch can now call himself an Edmonton Eskimo.

Lynch signed a three-year contract with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League on Wednesday. He said he didn’t want to disclose the monetary value of his contract.

“It feels good,” Lynch said. “Like I said, it’s a team and a coaching staff that wants me.”

Lynch, a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2013, expects to once again take the field as a quarterback, the position he played for two seasons during his time as a Huskie.

“That’s what I did all my life was play quarterback,” Lynch said. “Having a chance to do it again, I’m excited. It’s football at the end of the day.”

Edmonton has its own dual-threat quarterback in Mike Reilly, who will be Lynch’s stiffest competition for the starting quarterback job. In 2014, Reilly’s 3,327 passing yards ranked sixth in the CFL, and his 16 passing touchdowns ranked fourth. His 616 rushing yards was eighth-most, and his eight rushing touchdowns came in third in the CFL.

Lynch is one of six quarterbacks on the Eskimos’ roster.

“I’m not going there to ride the bench,” Lynch said. “I’m going there to try to get a starting spot.”

Lynch began working out for the Eskimos in October. He held out hope for an NFL team to give him a call, but when the regular season ended he and the Eskimos began contract talks.

Lynch is excited to get back on the field — a wider field, that is. NFL fields are 53.5 yards wide, and CFL fields are 65 yards wide.

“Absolutely, the more room on the field the better for me or anyone that’s a dual-threat quarterback,” Lynch said. “I feel like it fits my game. [I] just need to learn the rules.”

The Eskimos went 12-6 (24 points) last season, losing to the Calgary Stampeders, 43-18, in the West Division Final. That was a marked improvement from 2013, when the Eskimos finished 4-14 (eight points) and missed the postseason.