New Riders QB Zach Collaros: ‘It’s a tremendous opportunity for me’

Quarterback Zach Collaros has been traded from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Sakatchewan Roughriders for the 10th overall pick in the 2018 CFL Draft. We spoke to Collaros from Mexico where he is on vacation.

Drew Edwards: What was your first reaction to the trade?

Zach Collaros: “I’m very excited. The first thing you think about in Saskatchewan is their fan base. They really love the Riders and I’m looking forward to playing in front of those fans. I’m leaving a great fan base but I don’t think there’s a better place for me to go to.”

DE: Are you disappointed on how things worked out in Hamilton?

ZC: “When I signed the contract extension, that’s where I wanted to be – it was the place where I wanted to finish my career. The last year, things didn’t work out the way anyone wanted them to. Things happen for a reason and have a way of working themselves out. Am I disappointed in how it ended? Obviously, I’m not going to win a Grey Cup in Hamilton.

“But the relationships I’ve made in that building and with those teammates, people who work behind scenes, I’ll always cherish those.”

DE: But you’re happy about the trade.

ZC: “It’s change, it’s a new opportunity. I don’t think I could be going to a better place from a fan standpoint, from an organizational standpoint, with the players they have. It’s a tremendous opportunity for me.”

DE: Are you excited about being re-united with Peter Dyakowski?

ZC: “I am. It was the first thing I thought of. I’ve missed those educational sessions in the locker room. Not being able to learn about various obscure elements of world history was tough.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1569 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

49 Comments on New Riders QB Zach Collaros: ‘It’s a tremendous opportunity for me’

  1. solara2000 // January 3, 2018 at 11:20 am //

    Spoken like the true professional he is.

    • Zach is a winner on every level. He won back to back state high school football championships when he played,should have been starting QB For the cincinnatti bearcats in college but coach kelly screwed that up and was never given a chance to play in the Nfl! He is a class act and he represents mine and his hometown (steubenville ohio) very well and he comes from a great family!

  2. Green Pastures // January 3, 2018 at 11:22 am //

    As he says, great fans andd a great organization.

    • Blue Rules // January 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm //

      Green, Zach NEVER said “great fans or great organization” he said he couldn’t be going to a better place from a fan & organization ” stand point” interpretation it’s the only option on the plate. In fact when asked if he was happy he said “it’s change it’s a new opportunity” doesn’t sound very positive to me.

      • Green Pastures // January 3, 2018 at 4:04 pm //

        Ok then. Spin it anyway you wish.

      • Jerry Richardson // January 3, 2018 at 6:25 pm //

        You aren’t suggesting that the Riders (not my team by the way) are not a great organization with great fans, are you? No one has better fans and only Calgary competes as a great organization.

        I hope he’s gotten used to being a backup, however.

  3. Huge mistake. I understand that the benefits we will receive via the salary cap and a quality 1st Round pick, but Zac brought a lot to the team, in the locker room and off the field and I am sad to se him exit the team. I truly hope that Hamilton does not sign John Manziel (please, let’s drop the Johnny Football thing. We’re not in High School anymore). The guy is a cancer.

    • TigersCoach // January 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm //

      Zach brought a lot to the locker room and Manziel is a cancer. Thank you for the insights!

      Curious… How much time have you spent in the locker room? And when have you ever been in the same state as Manziel? I’m assuming you’re close to both situations to have such strong opinions on each.

      Always makes me shake my head when I read these absolute certainty statements from folks with essentially zero knowledge on the subject.

      • I didn’t realize that we weren’t allowed to have an opinion on this blog. There are so many talented kids out there who don’t come with a fraction of the baggage Manziel brings. He has shown zero ability to handle himself as a professional athlete while Collaros, other than last year, has been great for the CFL. His experience alone will make Saskatchewan a better team. I just have a low tolerance for jackasses like Manziel who have every opportunity to succeed and then piss it all away.

  4. And he has a sense of humour –missing obscure facts about world history?
    Hope it works out well for Zach

  5. Sounds to me like he’s willing to accept the inevitable and is pleased that he’s going to a market with a great fan base but really isn’t happy about leaving Hamilton. Really sorry to see him leave too.

    • As a Rider fan I’m happy to see that, and I hope he develops the same attachment to Saskatchewan and Rider nation.

  6. Class act. Always stayed professional despite last year not working out the way he wanted. Thanks Zach and good luck ….except against Hamilton.

    • with the class act, he will fit in nicely with the riders. They are canada’s team and if you listen to lots of past players they say every player needs the experience of playing in sask, the best place to be a football player.

  7. good luck, Zach ….although Bridge has really earned the right to start …he keeps getting passed over, in Montreal, in Sask

    • Every team needs two good QBs these days. I think Bridge will be given every opportunity to win the starting job, but I’m sure that when he signed his one year deal with us he knew that we’d be bringing in someone else as well. I’m very happy with our depth now, and it’s up to the two of them in training camp to see who will be the starter.

    • Red&White Forever // January 3, 2018 at 1:38 pm //

      Obviously in Chris Jones’ mind, and in this case his opinion is the only one that actually counts, Bridge has NOT, as you say, “earned the right to start”.

  8. Hard to believe we only got a #10 draft pick, but I assume (although it is surprisingly not mentioned here) that Sask is taking on all that salary, so probably a good move, under the circumstances.

    • Otoh, there were probably teams sitting back and waiting for him to be released. But the Riders were proactive and made the deal. This also gives us an extra draw with our own and other FAs. Collaros is a veteran, top tier, QB, and that was the one big piece missing from our team last year.

  9. I like the trade as Collaros is not the same QB since his injury! My big concern TiCats do not have a proven winn8ng QB. Regular season doesn’t count the playoffs do! Just look at the Stampeders! Masoli hasn’t proved he can win big games, and Manziel hasn’t proven he can win period. However JJ clearly didn’t like Collaros and loves Manziel so this was inevitable. A huge gamble for JJ, KA, ET, and of course their lousy President and awesome Caretaker! It will be interest8ng how the fans react! Let’s hope for some huge luck. If not a whole sale change at the top for 2019!

    • Not sure I’d be so down on Masoli’s play in the playoffs.

      As I recall, he didn’t get much playing time in 2015 and did enough to beat the Argos in the ESF then came a dropped Gascon-Nadon interception from beating the RedBlacks. That’s in Austin’s “run rarely or better yet, not at all” offense.

      He does need to be more aware of game situations and improve accuracy.

  10. White Horse // January 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm //

    wow…Jones has the riders loaded up with a host of marginal QB’s at this point. Probably more to come. Now I feel compassion for Bridge. However, all should play for starting role at training camp….Good Luck

    • Habsnriders // January 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm //

      Still better than some teams . Stamps have a qb that won’t be ready for the regular season and no backup. Montreal has no qb and now Hamilton is after this trade is shy on QB’s . Should be an interesting training camp

    • A host of marginal Calgary qb’s? What does Calgary have then? 1 qb who chokes and is injured and…. that’s it. He played 2/3 of a season injured because they have NOBODY else and had approximately ZERO chance of winning without him. Good luck with that.

  11. Both bridge and collaros will have something to prove in training camp. By no means does this mean collaros will be the starter.

  12. Anonymous // January 3, 2018 at 2:10 pm //

    The Riders will have plenty of good competition at the qb position now,and my feeling is they re not done yet.
    The eastern final shows how close the Riders are to being the team they want to be.So personally I’m feeling good about the future of the Riders.

  13. this also means the all mighty stamps (regular season team only), is falling behind. They have a starting QB who doesnt know how to win when it counts and basically no back up QB. They have ole carrot top as the back up but he has proven to be a dud in the games he started last year or played in. The rest of the west is movin on up while the stamps are movin on down, plus the stamps have no fan base. Maybe moving them to the east coast is the solution. And oh ya, they have a dump for a stadium too. teeeeeheeee.

  14. Big Mistake….It will come back to bite you June Jones

  15. Scottsask // January 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm //

    What a day for CFL fans all around.

  16. How old is this fella Collaros ?

  17. Super classy guy and represents his team and the league well. I have a feeling he’s got some great days ahead. Having said that… it’s a risk for Sask… the coaches in Hamilton did their level best to get him back in the groove and he just couldn’t do it.

    • Their level best in an offense that just barely prefers a minimal run game to no run game at all.

      Or made adjustments for how few receivers the QBs had played with before.

      Or built plays to leverage what players excelled at.

      Definitely a risk but an offense that requires all players to be at their best while ignoring injuries/rookies as well as ways to confuse the opposing defense makes it unclear what is and is not possible.

  18. I think there were bigger problems than Collaros to blame for their early season struggles. Every player comes with risks, of course, and that’s why great depth is so important. I can understand why he’s happy. He’s coming to a team with arguably the best receiving corps in the league, and when healthy a pretty good OL, but that should be the next area for Jones to concentrate on. We have to get Campbell locked up, and lock in Labatte at C, and then sort out our OG situation. Bladek, Dyakowski, and JSJ are in the mix there.

  19. Riders loading up!!

  20. I don’t imagine Collaros will like the restructured contract that will be given to him, but after last year he will need to build his value up again to elite status before he returns to the salary he is used to.

    • Greengo. He gets his deal or one he likes for he walks as a free agent. Collects his guaranteed money in Feb and then negotiated with Toronto, Montreal and B.C.

  21. Lindsay Wilcox // January 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm //

    Collaros will have to be paid whatever his contract in Hamilton called for, approx. $500,000. Beyond 2018, will depend upon how and what he does for Riders.

    All the Best Zach.

    Ticats now have $500,000 more to spend on pending FA. How about $100,000 to Masoli and $50,000 each to Banks and Tasker , and the remaining $300,000 divvied up amongst FA on Defense ?

    • Lindsay. Masoli will be looking for starting money. My guess is that he is making $100k and looking for $300k.

  22. Depends … some say Collaros’ contract was front end loaded so 2018 may be less than $500K.

    The Riders are reported to be in negotiations to revamp his contract so it seems clear that whatever the actual number is – the Riders want to restructure, if not reduce it.

  23. Ticat Mike // January 3, 2018 at 6:47 pm //

    I wish Zach all the best. Here’s where you hope that the Ticat coaching staff and talent evaluation guys have got this one right i.e. Zach no longer has “it” due to injury or whatever. Because if Zach still has it — its a mistake. The writing has been on the wall since Jones named Masoli the starter and stuck with him through the end.
    What we have now is inferior to the Zach we saw a couple of years ago. And we don’t even get Sask second stringer in the deal? Well we got something….but….not even a starter or their second qB? disappointing. As for Johnny Football — I have rather low expectations….and could care less. Its a show me league…..

  24. Good Luck Zach you deserved better than how the Cats treated you, I hope you and the Riders do Well in the West I really believe the Sask Fans are getting a Good QB.

  25. Zach deserved better from Kent Austin.

    For the life of me having seen Austin switch QBs even in the same series in other years and not batting an eye about it it astounded me that with the Ticats and Zach C struggling that Austin wouldn’t give Collaros even a breather where he could spend some time on the sidelines in games and see the game from another perspective AND also let Masoli run the ball!!!

    It was like Austin had a death wish and was going to take Zach with him.

  26. good deal for both teams. Cant imagine Zach not being the starter, but who knows. Was a pro when he played in Toronto, plays balls to the walls – Rider fans will love him

  27. Good Luck Zach, great competitor and QB. He will rise to the top again! Take my word on it!

  28. I think the biggest loss is that Zach truly loved being in Hamilton itself. He will make the best of his new situation, but he was a great fit in Hamilton. He just wants to play, truly loves playing the game.

  29. Zach’s personality fit so well with Hamilton and I think the fans really love and respect that. I expect him to get a nice round of applause when he plays at THF. That says something because this town can be notoriously hard on QB’s that aren’t playing well. I think we face Jason Mass psychological bruises that ended his playing career! We will miss you Zach!!!

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