Jordan Lynch is back where he belongs — except it’s in another country.
Lynch, who had a brief preseason spell at running back with his hometown Bears, signed a three-year contract Wednesday to play quarterback for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.
“I get to go back to playing football and doing what I love,” Lynch said in a phone interview. “I get to play quarterback. There’s nothing better than that.”
Lynch had been in contact with the Eskimos since being waived by the Bears on Aug. 29. He also had worked out at running back for the Lions in early November, and a futures/reserve contract was discussed.
But Lynch missed the handling of snaps, the calls, the leadership, everything that goes into playing quarterback.
“That’s what I am,” Lynch said. “I’m a quarterback. . Being a quarterback, you’re a leader. You’re that guy. That’s where I feel like I do my best work at.”
It’s also nice to be wanted again. Lynch, a Mount Carmel graduate and Mount Greenwood native, wasn’t a hot commodity after being a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2013 after starring at Northern Illinois.
Former Bears general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman saw potential in Lynch, but as a running back and special-teamer.
“I wasn’t wanted coming out of college,” said Lynch, who amassed 10,552 total yards and scored 100 touchdowns during his NIU career. “I was cut from the Bears, and they had no plan for me.
“Now that a team wants me, I have to compete and show them I can play quarterback and help them win more games. That’s what I’m going to do.”
That said, Lynch loved everything about his brief run with the Bears. It was a dream come true for the South Sider, who connected with kicker Robbie Gould and guard Kyle Long.
“The whole running-back thing was just different,” he said.
Lynch is familiar with some of the differences in the CFL, whether it’s the wider fields or the forward motion on offense.
“But it’s still football, and I’m glad to be back,” said Lynch, who has been working out at NIU.
When Lynch reports in April, it’ll only be his second time in Canada. When he was a redshirt freshman in 2009, NIU played South Florida in the International Bowl in Toronto. It was one of his favorite trips.
“It’s going to be fun to try to catch a few Blackhawks games when they play Edmonton,” Lynch said. “But I think I’ll be an Edmonton fan, too.”