REGINA -- Riders starting quarterback Cody Fajardo has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him with the Saskatchewan Roughriders until 2021.

He said he could pin-point the moment he wanted to be a Saskatchewan Roughrider long-term.

“After I ran out at the first home game”, said the quarterback at a press conference at Mosaic Stadium Monday. “I saw all the fans waiving the towels and I said there’s nothing like this in the CFL (Canadian Football League). I’ve been to every stadium, but running out and just the support we’ve had, the support I’ve had. I just remember running out of that tunnel getting chills and I’m like this is professional football.”

General Manager Jeremy O’Day announced they came to the agreements on the two-year contract extension through to 2021 late Sunday evening. TSN’s Farhan Lalji reports that the contract is worth between $410-450,000 a year, depending on makeable play time incentives.

Fajardo becomes the first quarterback since Darian Durant to sign a contract longer than one year.

“It is a big deal, to have our quarterback in place because it really sets the tone, for the setting of our team moving forward,” said O’day. He added that he hopes “it makes all our (other) guys want to come back. We feel like we have a good team and the idea is that we’re trying to achieve and get a chance to win a Grey Cup every year.”

This is the first year that Fajardo has started in the CFL, after being a third string pivot for the BC Lions in 2018, and with the Toronto Argonauts from 2016-17.

“The last couple years have been tough because I’ve been living on a one year contract. Going into the off-season you never know where you’re going to end up. It’s been hard on my family, going into the off season I’ve thought this could be my last year playing football. Or a team can take a chance on me, and I’m fortunate enough the Roughriders took a chance on me,” said Fajardo.

O’Day said discussions began months ago, but heated up over the last few weeks.

“We feel good about him, we didn’t feel like we wanted to wait, we felt the timing was right as far as giving him the ability to not have to think about it any more and just focusing on football,” the GM said.

“It’s good to be at a place where you’re wanted, as opposed to just liked. I feel wanted here. That’s big for me and my family,” Fajardo said about signing in Saskatchewan. “When my father and wife had the opportunity to come up here they said this is the city. This is it. This is where we want to be.”