Kerry Joseph eyes NFL

Kerry Joseph eyes NFL

Globe and Mail Update

January 30, 2008 at 4:06 PM EST

VANCOUVER — Kerry Joseph is upset that negotiations for a new contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders did not proceed more quickly this off-season and is eyeing an opportunity in the National Football League.

The quarterback, who took a $125,000 pay cut last year, recognizes he is primed to cash in after a 2007 season that included a Grey Cup championship and the Canadian Football League's most outstanding player award.

"I want to get my salary up to par with the other [quarterbacks], especially with the season I had," Joseph said from his off-season home in Orlando.

This week, Joseph booked a tryout with the New Orleans Saints and said he would exercise his option to escape to the NFL if he felt he had a chance to play. He is heading into the final year of his contract with the Riders and is scheduled to earn $250,000 in 2008.

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Kerry Joseph smiles as he poses after winning the Outstanding Player award at the Canadian Football League awards ceremony in Toronto on Nov.22, 2007. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Joseph, a native Louisianan, will workout for the Saints on Feb. 13. The deadline for CFL players to sign in the NFL is Feb. 15.

"Saskatchewan is not moving too fast on getting a new deal done," Joseph said. "I'm trying not to get frustrated on that point."

Joseph earned a base salary of $225,000 last season and also achieved some bonuses.

He took the cut because the Roughriders were over the league's $4.05-million salary cap and had to chop roughly $800,000 before last season kicked off. Even with those trimmings, the Riders are likely to be over the cap once the CFL completes its financial audits later this year.

"I've had discussions with his agent and they will continue but not via the media," Roughriders general manager Eric Tillman said. "The thing that has to be factored in is that Kerry is under contract for next year. We're not talking about a lack of dialogue with someone who will be a free agent in a couple of weeks."

The CFL has yet to make salary information public, but it is believed that both Montreal Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo and Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris made roughly $350,000 last season. Dave Dickenson was released by the B.C. Lions in November due to his $400,000 price tag.

Joseph said his discontent with the Riders is not the reason he is looking for NFL tryouts and that the Saints first made contact with his agent back in December. He admitted that the allure of the NFL is something he would have considered anyways, especially now that he is 34 years old and running out of time.

"I feel I can play at that level but it's got to be a good situation because I know I have a good situation in Canada," Joseph said. "The main thing is I want to get in front of them and throw the ball around. I feel I can make any throw on the field and show them my knowledge of the game."

Even with the workout, Joseph's chances of bolting south remain slim.

First, he would need a significant signing bonus to offset what he could earn in the CFL. If he attends training camp with the Saints and gets cut, his rights would automatically revert back to Saskatchewan and he would sacrifice roughly half of his CFL salary.

Second, few NFL teams carry expensive third-stringers, and because Joseph has five years of NFL service, his minimum salary would be roughly $600,000 U.S. At that freight, he would likely to need to make a team as a backup.

"Selfishly, we want Kerry back. But if Kerry chooses to pursue his NFL dream, it's something we will accept and understand," Tillman said. "We have great confidence in [backup quarterbacks] Marcus Crandell, Darian Durant and Drew Tate and if the worst-case scenario happens, we'll go forward."

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Yeah he should go. His career is nearing an end. If he wants to get in NFL, then he should go ASaP.

Besides, the Riders knew the organization had to do something with JOSEPH soon enough.

IMO thyril he has slim to none chance to make it down there. I think Joseph and his agent are posturing for a new contract with a price tag attached to it. Nothing more.

I agree with you 05, but tatics like that can backfire on you-- Tillman will negotiate, but not publically. A statement like this doesnt do KJ any favours.

. . . regardless.

K.J could do as well as Flutie or Garcia, as he said in the right situation, IMO he could Start for half the nfl teams, But they are more interested in the younger Big name ncaa grads(rookies) ie lostman- But if there is a smart nfl coach or Gm, they will see K.J,s exp and go with his strengths. Classic run and shoot qb, aka Condredge Hollaway. Plus the riders could save some $$ and maybe make a profit from the G.C win. With Austin gone the 07 Champs cant repeat .

Hopefully if he gets some interest from an NFL
team, they dont ask for film from his playoff performance.

Read my lips (Not happening) :slight_smile: he's not going anywhere.

I don't see anything wrong with what was said from either side of the ball. Getting interest from the NFL will help his cause a little. However, he then has to ask himself does he want to be another Casey Printers and Dave Dickensen or Henry Burris or does he have a real shot like Garcia. It is risky at that age, he knows he is a starter in Sask for as long as he can be competitive but it is just a money issue.

There is NO way that he will play in the NFL. Yes, he was the MVP and did some great things on the field, but he is not accurate enough and does not have the poise to be QB at the NFL level. To play in the NFL a QB has to be able to approach the line of scrimmage, recognize where he needs to go with the ball, then take the appropriate drop and deliver the ball with zip (he has zip), and accuracy (not good enough), and touch (which he does NOT possess). What he can do is make plays with his legs and improvise, but I do not believe he can pass the ball effectively in the NFL.
This is just posturing on his part, which may be a good idea for someone in his position. He may have one deal left in him at 34, and he wants to maximize it. The fact that he is not a FA makes negotiations different though.

is your user name ned braden in honour of the guy from the movie slap shot, cause if so, lol.


I wonder what the Saints see Joseph as...a qb, rb or db?? He has played all three.

I think qb is what they see in him. Obviously not as a starter but KJ as seen it all and could be a valuable 3rd-4th stringer, who knows.

Didn’t Joseph play as a safety in the NFL at one time? Or am I confused and thinking of some one else?

I smell NFL pension move here. He will go down for a bit to qualify for his pension and then return much like the guys before him. If he does get to play good for him another CFLer that makes the NFL.

If he goes for two years...nobody will want him. He will be to old.

You are correct Sportsman, Joseph started for Seattle for a couple season at safety. Talented athlete, but perhaps a bit old by football standards.

I think he already has his pension. He was playing in the states for a while... In Cinncinati and in Seattle.

you only need 3 years to get the NFL pension: Kerry has 5.
A back-up QB in the NFL can easily make between 1 and 2 million–more depending on bonuses, so financially, it could be a good move.
I think he would need a substantial signing bonus however–in the neighbourhood of 200-300 thou.

New Orleans might be a good fit. It turns out, at 34, KJ is actually a spring chicken compared to the guy who backed up Brees last year.
Jamie Martin–yes THAT Jamie Martin :roll: --is 38 freakin’ years old.
They also have a rookie, Tylor Palko, who, though undrafted, made the practice roster last year.
But obviously, they have very little invested in him.
The key for KJ, were he to sign would be draft day.
If the Saints burn a high pick on a QB, that might be trouble.
If not, and they remain status quo otherwise, I like his chances in New Orleans.

Good luck to him if he goes that route.