Nathan Rourke is about to become a Jacksonville Jaguar.
The 24-year-old Victoria native tweeted Sunday that he plans to sign with the Jaguars, which is one of 12 teams Rourke worked out for after finishing the 2022 season with the B.C. Lions.
Contract and financial details weren’t immediately available, but the NFL’s minimum salary for 2023 is US $750,000. It’s also unknown how much of Rourke’s contract will be guaranteed.
The six-foot-two, 209-pound Rourke still had a year left on his CFL deal, but was eligible to sign a future deal south of the border as per the league’s NFL window.
Rourke was bypassed in the 2021 NFL draft after his college career at Ohio and signed with B.C., which selected him in the second round, No. 15 overall, of the 2021 CFL draft.
Rourke served as veteran Michael Reilly’s backup his first season with B.C., but still practised plenty with the starting offence as Reilly nursed a season-long elbow ailment.
After making two starts as a rookie, Rourke took the CFL by storm in 2022. He threw for over 300 yards six times, including three 400-yard performances, in staking B.C. to an 8-1 record.
RAW: BC Lions Nathan Rourke Interview – Nov. 13
But Rourke’s season was cut short by a Lisfranc sprain in his right foot that required surgery. He returned for B.C.’s regular-season finale as the Lions (12-6) finished second in the West.
Rourke led B.C. past Calgary 30-16 in the West Division semifinal, completing 22-of-30 passes for 321 yard and two TDs.
B.C.’s season ended with a 28-20 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the West final. Rourke finished 20-of-37 passes for 300 yards with a TD and two interceptions while rushing twice for 20 yards.
Still, Rourke was named the CFL’s top Canadian during Grey Cup week in Regina.
BC Lions Quarterback Nathan Rourke
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2023.
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