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Top 7 Highest-Paid Players in the CFL 2023 Season

Introduction

So as you may have guessed from the title, we’re going to talk about some of the highest-paid CFL players from this season. But, before we begin, there are two things you need to know —

  • In CFL contracts, hard money designates the sum guaranteed to a player regardless of injury. This encompasses various elements like the signing bonus, base salary, housing stipend, off-season roster bonuses, travel allowances, workout incentives, etc. 
  • The contract specifies extra segments known as “playtime or incentives,” detailed alongside each player. These bonuses typically hinge on factors like playing time, yardage achieved, touchdowns, earning all-star recognition, or winning league awards.

Just to make sure, in this article, we will only talk about players who are highest-paid. So, you won’t get any information related to their performance or anything associated with it. 

Instead, you can look for websites who offer insights on football or tennis betting tips to know more. You’ll definitely find better suggestions there.

1: Zach Collaros

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The CFL’s back-to-back Most Outstanding Player will retain his position as the highest-paid player for the league in 2023, receiving the entirety of his contract in solid cash. 

Collaros also secured a signing bonus of $300,000 as part of a three-year extension-agreement inked with Winnipeg back in October 2022.

The Reason: So, why is he getting this massive amount of money?

To begin with, he was quite exemplary with his performance last year. If we are talking about stats, he has completed 70% of his passes for around 4,200 yards. Apart from that, he had also made 37 touchdowns, which was a league-leading number last season.

His touchdown record from the previous season eclipsed his former career-high record of 25. He set it while he was still playing with the Tiger-Cats.

Hard Money: USD 600,000

Maximum Value: USD 600,000

2: Bo Levi Mitchell

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The CFL’s two-time Most Outstanding Player was given a $300,000 signing bonus as part of his agreement to join the Ticats for a three-year deal following the trade that saw his rights moved from the Calgary Stampeders. While most of his new contract comprises guaranteed money, Mitchell also has the opportunity to earn $1,000 every time he participates in over 51 percent of his team’s offensive plays during a game.

The Reason: Honestly speaking, Bo Levi Mitchell was literally the only reason why Calgary Stampeders looked good last season. And in his extensive 10-year career there, he played a lot of excellent games for the team. 

Probably that’s why the Tiger-Cats bought him as a Marquee signing this season. While he is yet to showcase the same form as he did last season, we’re sure that he’ll come through. After all, form is temporary, but class is permanent.

Hard Money: USD 502,000

Maximum Value: USD 520,000

3: Trevor Harris

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Saskatchewan Roughriders 

As a free agent, the 36-year-old joined the Riders on a two-year deal, keeping things quite straightforward. He ended up receiving a huge $250,000 signing bonus, with the remainder of his earnings curiously-structured through the base salary, housing allowance, travel incentives and commitments to community appearances.

The Reason: Trevor Harris, albeit being a free agent for quite some time, is still a player with a legendary status in the league. And even though he has celebrated his 36th birthday recently — his passing range and efficiency as a quarterback is still something to ponder about.

That’s why, it’s no wonder Saskatchewan Roughriders went all-in for him and acquired his sig for quite a lot of money. Will it pay off for them, though? We’ll get the answer to it soon.

Hard Money: USD 500,000

Maximum Value: USD 500,000

4: Jeremiah Masoli

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Ottawa Redblacks

The experienced player committed to Ottawa for an extended period until 2024, securing a $175,000 signing bonus. Additionally, there’s a chance for a $5,000 bonus if he clinches the title of CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2023, paired with a $10,000 travel incentive.

The Reason: Ottawa Redblacks have already been missing someone who is experienced and able enough to drive the team forward. So, in that case, Jeremiah Masoli fits the bill perfectly. In addition, his always-attacking demeanor and giving-it-all attitude makes him something of a messiah for the underperforming Redblacks. Let’s see how well it ends for both of them.

Hard Money: USD 425,000

Maximum Value: USD 433,000

5: Jake Maier

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Calgary Stampeders

The rising star leading the team in Calgary received a signing bonus of $210,000 this year as part of his contract extension until 2024. In 2023, he stands to earn a $2,000 bonus for each game where he plays over 51 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. 

Additional smaller bonuses await him if he secures titles such as West Division all-star, CFL all-star, and the league’s M.O.P.

The Reason: Although quite young, Jake Maier has a sense of maturity the way he plays. It’s been quite evident since he joined the Stampeders in 2020. And, he literally proved how much of a talented player he is in the previous season. 

Yes, he might miss Bo Levi Mitchell’s towering presence beside him this season. However, it may also make him take additional responsibilities and become an undroppable figure for the Calgary Stampeders this season. 

Hard Money: USD 405,000

Maximum Value: USD 447,000

6: Taylor Cornelius

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Edmonton Elks

Last autumn, the quarterback skilled in both passing and running secured a contract extension stretching till 2024, boasting a signing bonus of $106,500. 

He pocketed a $50,000 off-season roster bonus as of January 1st, anticipates another $46,500 upon reporting to training camp and clearing his physical, and stands to gain $2,222 every time he commands over 51 percent of Edmonton’s offensive plays during the regular season.

The Reason: The 6’5” quarterback, Taylor Cornelius, is literally the face of Edmonton Elks. And, with how things are folding out. We’re sure that he’d love to be here for a long time.

Unlike most QBs mentioned here, the 28-year old has a lower pass completion percentage as of now (60%). However, he has a much higher passing range and has the heart to make riskier passes without batting an eye. The way he’s playing, he’s sure to be a news-topper in 2023.

Hard Money: USD 392,000

Maximum Value: USD 432,000

7: Cody Fajardo

Plays as: a Quarterback

Team: Montreal Alouettes 

The former West Division M.O.P. collected a $125,000 signing bonus to join the Als following a four-year run with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Most of his compensation is in the form of hard money, though he will earn a USD 3,000 bonus each time he plays more than 51% of Montreal’s offensive snaps in the 2023-24 season.

The Reason:An ever-so-important figure for the Roughriders, Cody Fajardo has joined the Montreal Alouettes in 2023. It’s a new challenge for him, so we do not know how his signing might work out this season. 

But, if he clicks, Montreal has a much higher chance of succeeding in the league than they’ve done in the recent years.

Hard Money: USD 371,000

Maximum Value: USD 425,000

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Priyanka Chaudhary
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