Drew Tate trade provides immediate (and future) insurance for Redblacks

If there’s one thing you can’t have too many of on your CFL team, it’s experienced quarterbacks. Nobody knows that better than Ottawa Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins, who watched his team win games with both Henry Burris and Trevor Harris in 2016.

By acquiring Drew Tate from the Calgary Stampeders, Desjardins has once again bolstered his QB depth, much like he did last season when he signed Trevor Harris in free agency to back up future Hall of Famer Henry Burris.

Tate, an eight year CFL vet, instantly provides the Redblacks with an experienced pivot who is capable of stepping under centre in a pinch and winning games. Though he rarely took the field with the Stamps (throwing a pass in just 45 of the 129 regular season games he dressed for), Tate completed 66% of his passes for 4670 yards and 32 TDs while averaging 8.2 yards per pass.

Even if all goes according to plan and Harris avoids any serious injury, Tate might still see the field often in Ottawa as a short yardage specialist. Before losing that role in Calgary to Canadian Andrew Buckley, Tate found the end zone 24 times on the ground as a Stampeder.

It’s worth noting that upon joining the Redblacks, Tate immediately signed a two year extension with the team, ensuring he’ll be in Ottawa through 2019. That extension becomes all the more interesting when you take into account the fact that Desjardins confessed that he has been unable to come to an agreement on an extension with Trevor Harris, who is entering the last year of his current deal.

If Harris ultimately hits the market and leaves Ottawa following the 2017 season, the Redblacks won’t be in a complete panic, because they’ll at least have Tate under contract for another two years.

It’s hard to see this deal as anything but a win for the Redblacks. The only thing they’ve given up is a 5th round pick in the 2018 draft and in exchange they’ve gained a QB who has shown he can win games in the CFL, something they sorely lacked behind Harris before this transaction.

Because though Brock Jensen has potential and though Ryan Lindley’s signing was met with much fanfare, neither has yet proven they can hack it in this league. In limited playing time Jensen has shown flashes but lacked consistency. And while Lindley is a big name, he’s ultimately an NFL castoff with underwhelming career numbers who is learning the three down game and its nuances from scratch.

In the end, a fifth round pick in next year’s draft is an incredibly small price to pay for depth at the game’s most important position. To fully appreciate what a steal this deal is for Ottawa just look down the 401 at what the Argos gave up to acquire Drew Willy. Willy has thrown twice as many passes as Tate but only has seven more career touchdowns and averages less yards per completion.

As he has already proven this off-season, Desjardins will leave no stone unturned in his quest to set his team up as best as possible to defend their Grey Cup championship at home.

Santino Filoso

Santino Filoso

Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)
Santino Filoso
Santino Filoso
About Santino Filoso (223 Articles)
Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)

8 Comments on Drew Tate trade provides immediate (and future) insurance for Redblacks

  1. Great move by Ottawa.
    I hope Harris re-signs soon, unless he plans on going back to Toronto. That would be good too.m

  2. Enrico Della Penta // February 22, 2017 at 10:25 am //

    Marcel is a master. Getting Tate was a great move on his part. Ottawa should be competitive again this year with their FA acquisitions and returning players. Gonna be a great Eastern Conference battle this year, Montreal is looking like they made some great moves. As for Hamilton and Toronto, Tabbies will be ok and Toronto has had some changes to coaches and personnel that will impact their game. Here is to another great CFL season for all fans.

  3. Ottawa needs Tate to stay healthy if they need him to play any significant time

  4. It was an obvious move. Ottawa gets him at basically a giveaway price. Calgary wanted to move him to avoid paying the $40,000 bonus. My guess was that the choice was Tate or LeFever. Winnipeg took LeFever so that left Tate.

  5. The fortune cookie, stuck in my throat, makes the future uncertain and a great end-beginning envelopes the East while a powerful wind howls and cries:trade Collaros for Harris.

    Bang Bang,

    Until Tomorrow

  6. George Fogarty // February 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm //

    Good move Marcel. Hopefully the move to Ottawa will put some passion back into his game. Although he was behind Mr. Jeans in Calgary he is decent if he stays healthy. He has been in the league a while and knows the game now he just has to work with Elinzondo and crew and get up to speed with the playbook. A great addition.

  7. Tate’s experience actually includes 10 years in the CFL, though he spent the first two on the Rider PR or injured list. Still, being coached up during that time counts. So I’m thinking the value of his experience isn’t just being able to step in and play when needed, it’s a plus on the sideline and in the locker and film room. Even if he hasn’t played a lot in the last 5 years, he’s been an observer of the game, under the watch of some great coaching.

    I was surprised that he’s actually not a lot older than Harris, who will be turning 31 this spring. Not that it matters.

  8. Marc Lebut // February 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm //

    Well, when Harris returns to TO in 2018 to work with Trestman, TAte will be a credible QB. This said, he’s been unable to show he can stay healthy, so what’s Worth keeping him if he can’t take most starts? The RBs are still out there looking for a QB, with or without Tate.

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