After a return trip to the playoffs this past season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have decided to reward their football operations staff with more time.
The Riders announced a one-year contract extension for Vice-President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones, along with two-year contract extensions for Vice-President of Football Operations and Administration Jeremy O’Day, Vice-President of Football Operations and Player Personnel John Murphy and Manager of Football Administration Mike Davis.
All four deals will keep the staff together in Saskatchewan through the 2019 season.
“I’m happy that (Craig Reynolds and the Riders’ board of directors) confidence in myself and our staff and our organization to allow us to have an opportunity to extend another and keep moving forward with our plans,” said Jones on Tuesday in Regina.
“We try to win the Grey Cup every year and if we don’t, it’s a failure, so that’s the way we view it and this gives us an opportunity to continue to build what we feel like we’ve got something special going here.”
Under Jones, the Riders have went a five-win team in 2016 to a 10-win team in 2017. They also advanced to their first division final since 2013 as they came within one play of advancing to the Grey Cup in this year’s playoffs.
Riders’ President and CEO Craig Reynolds said they’re more than pleased with the strides that the team’s rebuild has made under this current front office’s guidance.
“Continuity is very important, so adding another year to Chris’ contract allows him to continue to build his program and I feel we’re building in a very positive way,” said Reynolds.
O’Day is entering his 20th season with the Riders and will be heading into his third season in his current role, while Murphy joined the team along with Jones before the 2016 season.
Davis joined the Riders late in the 2016 season.
“We’ve got a group of folks that really enjoy being around one another; we’ve got a great staff, they enjoy being around one another; and we’ve got great fans, they’re passionate and want to win every game and where would you rather to be than a place like that,” said Jones.
With the contract situation sorted out, Jones and company have already started working towards the 2018 season as they hosted workouts over the past few weeks in the United States.
The Riders currently have 22 free agents from their 2017 team.