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TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts announced on Thursday that quarterback Chad Kelly has signed a three-year contract extension with the club.
In his first year as a full-time starter in the CFL, Kelly is playing at a Most Outstanding Player level. He’s led Toronto to an 8-1 record while leading the CFL with six rushing touchdowns, QB rating (118.7), touchdown-to-interception ration (2.29), percentage of drives that result in touchdowns (26.5) and percentage of completed passes over 20 yards (53.2).
The Buffalo, NY native has completed 149-of-213 passes (70 per cent, second best in CFL) for 2,402 yards (fourth) and 16 passing touchdowns (third) in 2023. The Kelly-led Argos offence is averaging 29.2 offensive points/game and 380.9 yards of offence/game, both second in the CFL.
“I couldn’t be happier to sign this extension and proudly represent the historic Double Blue,” said Kelly. “Today marks not only a contract extension, but an extension of my commitment to the amazing city of Toronto, my teammates, coaches, front office and MLSE. I want to thank each one of you for your unwavering support over the last two years, and I look forward to leading this team to future Grey Cups. I also want to thank the Lord for providing me daily strength to do what I do best, my family for always being there for me throughout this process and the team around me for making this all come together.”
The 29-year-old joined the Argos in 2022 and was thrust into action during the fourth quarter of the 109th Grey Cup in November. Kelly completed four of six passes for 43 yards and rushed twice for 21 yards, including a 20-yard scramble on second down to set up the Argos’ game-winning touchdown and helped Toronto secure its record 18th championship.
“The level of exhilaration on this day is only rivaled by the excitement Chad Kelly provides every time he takes the field!” said Boatmen general manager Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons.
“Today’s news is not just great for the Toronto Argonauts, its outstanding for our league. Not only has he played lights out football but he has seemed to raise the level of opposing quarterbacks we’ve faced. However, the greatest part of this story is what you don’t see. Mr. Kelly has led this team from the off-season back in the winter to a team that’s become a consistent winner. A competent voice, a leader by example, he’s raised the level of his peers and prioritized the team amidst his All-Star stats! He arrives early and stays late…Phenomenal! On top of all that, Chad is, and will continue to be, a pillar for us in the team’s commitment to the community and youth football development in Toronto”
“Chad’s play on the field and leadership off the field make him the perfect fit for us here in Toronto,” said Argos Head Coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “You’ve seen what he’s done so far this season and we have no doubt the best is still yet to come with Chad. He is a player who can lead us to where we are trying to go and that is to compete consistently for Grey Cups each year. We are beyond thrilled he is our guy going forward.”
The second-year CFLer was an offensive assistant coach at East Mississippi Community College in 2021 after stops in Indianapolis and Denver in the NFL between 2017-2020. He was selected in the seventh-round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After starting his collegiate career at Clemson, Kelly transferred to East Mississippi CC where he led the Lions to a National Championship before eventually finding a home at The University of Mississippi where he would throw for just under 7,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, while rushing for 958 yards and 15 more majors in two seasons for the Rebels.