Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive lineman Logan Ferland has no doubt settled into the off-season after losing out to, and watching the Winnipeg Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup back on December 12th. With the season over he has enjoyed getting away from football and spending more time with family over Christmas, though the two sides came together on Monday when Ferland received his late present in the form of a new contract.
Locking up some homegrown talent 🔒— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) December 27, 2021
We have signed 🇨🇦 OL, Evan Johnson & Logan Ferland to contract extensions.
Ferland, who would have been free to start talking to other teams in February had the two sides not struck an agreement, signed a new two year deal back on December 27th. He signed alongside fellow Saskatchewan born lineman Evan Johnson, and felt it was an easy decision headed into a big 2022 for the Roughriders and City of Regina.
“I’m very excited for next year with the Grey Cup in town. Excited for another opportunity to play with those guys and coaches, just grateful for another opportunity and I’m ready to improve.”
Ferland said contract talks began early this off-season and he thought about keeping his options open as a free agent, but with everything going on in his life and his home-base being in Regina all coupled with a very successful first season in green and white; it just felt like the right decision.
“My agent has a good idea of who is needing lineman around the league, and you can usually get more money from a team in need,” he started to explain, “But the thing is with Saskatchewan, I feel I’ve shown what I can do, and with the same coaching staff it really solidifies my spot. That’s part of the reason I’m staying, but there are a lot of different things that go into it.”
Ferland will accept all of the congratulations that come with his new contract, but as the one signed up for next season and beyond, he knows that putting pen to paper is far from a guaranteed spot on the roster.
“The only thing I can take congratulations on is the signing bonus.”
There is no guaranteed money other than the signing bonus, and the player entering his second year understands that. He does appreciate the support, but knowing the reality as someone on the inside, Ferland knows just how easy someone can lose their spot in the game of football. Even though Ferland showed out tremendously as a rookie this season, the offensive line was a main point of contention for the Roughriders this past year and Ferland knows more talent could be waiting in the wings.
“They are always going to try and get the best players in camp, to try to push. Then they can make the cut after,” said Ferland on the football business, “See who’s better based on contracts and how good the player is, so they are going to bring in the best players they can to push each starter.”
The extra year on the contract does take some weight off the young players shoulder's entering his second season, and it has to be assumed Ferland got a bit of a raise as well after logging the most snaps on the team in 2021. He was definitely aware of his durability this year, but didn’t think it would result in an award.
Listen to him explain his surprise at getting the team award for the most snaps, finishing just ahead of veteran defensive back Nick Marshall. (BOTTOM OF ARTICLE)
While he might not have been aware of his longevity to that extent, he is certainly aware when it comes to the game itself. He recalls logging around 52 snaps back during his start at centre in Hamilton to end the regular season.
When he really looks back on that game, however, he’ll remember another special moment that took place. Ferland and former high school teammate on the offensive line Mattland Riley logged their first snaps together, as the team’s first round pick in 2020 dressed as the extra lineman, and even logged some time in Logan’s position at guard in the match-up against Hamilton back on November 20th.
“You don’t think about it much on the field, it just happens, but looking back afterwards it was pretty cool,” said Ferland, “We hadn’t played beside each other, like actually centre and guard beside each other since 2012 I think.”
It’s crazy to think two future Saskatchewan Roughriders offensive lineman would even be apart of the same unit in high school, let alone at the nine man level in Saskatchewan. Riley was the man in the middle before the Melfort Comets used another player at centre to let their power blocking duo flourish. The two would learn to dominate together before taking different paths as Riley ultimately played in University and Ferland obviously came into the league in as a CJFL product.
Spots on the game day roster for offensive lineman are limited, so Riley was a healthy scratch most of the season following some health complications to start the year. He never had the opportunity to hold the sixth lineman role because of his lack of availability, and some stiff competition in front of him in former first overall pick Josiah St. John.
“I felt bad for him because it was the luck of the draw the way it went this year, but it was really nice to see him get out there a bit in the last game.”
Instead it was the territorial junior Ferland who got the full rookie experience, and then some. He was introduced to how it feels to block against the pros, and what it means to be a Saskatchewan born player on the Roughriders.
Not only does the team trust him up front to protect the quarterback, they trust him on the camera as well. Ferland was one of several Roughriders to recently come together for some great Christmas content, playing games like ‘This or That’, and ‘Guess the Christmas Dish’.
Check out those videos below, as we wrap up our last look at the promising player with some hilarity, and a gravy chugging contest..?
"Drink a gallon of eggnog, or eat a whole gingerbread house?"— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) December 20, 2021
SPOILER: It was an unanimous decision. pic.twitter.com/jTHk4WD2G6
Time to put your money where your mouth is 😬— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) December 24, 2021
Logan Ferland & Dan Clark make good on a "This or That: Christmas Edition" scenario... pic.twitter.com/poyi1H4yM1