January 15, 2024

Three for Four: Lions, Hatcher agree to 3-year extension

Jimmy Jeong/CFL.ca

VANCOUVER — A key weapon in the BC Lions’ arsenal is staying put as the team announced on Monday that American wide receiver Keon Hatcher has signed a three-year extension through the 2026 season.

Hatcher was eligible to become a free agent on February 13 and was listed at No. 6 on CFL.ca’s top 30 pending free agents list.

“British Columbia has become my football home. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help finish what we’ve started with this excellent group of players and coaches,” said Hatcher.

“Last year didn’t end the way I wanted, but my recovery and rehab are on schedule and I’m excited to be back on the field early in the 2024 season.”

The 29-year-old Hatcher is coming off a career year in 2023 where he hauled in 78 receptions for 1,226 yards and six touchdowns across 14 regular season games. Hatcher’s yard total was second in the CFL behind Hamilton’s Tim White.

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Hatcher then racked up a career-high 195 yards and a touchdown to help the squad take down Calgary in the Western Semi-Final. The veteran receiver continues to rehab from an Achilles injury suffered in the Western Final at Winnipeg.

The native of Tulsa, OK originally signed with the Lions ahead of 2021 training camp and would emerge with a roster spot before registering 17 receptions for 214 yards in his first CFL season. He then made big strides in 2022 with 1,043 yards and five touchdowns on 70 total receptions.

Hatcher’s professional debut came with the Oakland Raiders in a week one game against the Los Angeles Rams in 2018. He also had NFL practice roster stints with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Detroit Lions from 2017-20.

In four seasons at the University of Arkansas (2013-16), Hatcher made 127 catches for 1,845 yards and 18 touchdowns over 37 appearances. He also chipped in on the ground with 21 carries for 264 yards and one major. Keon was also named to the Pro Football Focus All-SEC second team and NFLPA Collegiate Bowl to cap off 2016.

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