BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After helping the Toronto Argonauts lift the Grey Cup last year, Chad Kelly has launched a Most Outstanding Player campaign in his first season as a full-time starting quarterback in the Canadian Football League.
The native son of Western New York and nephew to Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is leading the CFL in passer rating (118.7), completing 70% of his passes for 2,402 yards and 16 touchdowns, with a league-best six rushing scores through Toronto’s 8-1 start to the season.
The Argos rewarded Kelly on Monday with a three-year contract extension for the 29-year-old who won the Connolly Cup as St. Joe’s quarterback in 2011 before a college career that included a standout season at Ole Miss and NFL stints with the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.
“I couldn’t be happier to sign this extension and proudly represent the historic Double Blue,” Kelly said in a news release. “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.”
Toronto general manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons celebrated the signing with a statement proclaiming: “The level of exhilaration on this day is only rivaled by the excitement Chad Kelly provides every time he takes the field!”
Last on an NFL roster in 2020 with the Colts’ practice squad, Kelly was working as an assistant coach at East Mississippi Community College, where he won an NJCAA championship as a player, before signing with Toronto last February. A backup last season, he entered the Grey Cup title game in the fourth quarter and led the Argos on the winning touchdown drive.
“Chad’s play on the field and leadership off the field make him the perfect fit for us here in Toronto,” Argos coach Ryan Dinwiddie said in a news release. “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 Argonauts next game is Monday at Hamilton, 60 miles from the Buffalo-Niagara region where Kelly was raised.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.