First overall pick in 2017 CFL draft gets healthy raise

First overall pick Faith Ekakitie will make $88,000 in “guaranteed money” this season, a jump of more than $10,000 over last year’s top selection.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers made the University of Iowa defensive tackle the top pick in the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7 and promptly signed him to a three-year contract. This season he’ll receive a $23,000 signing bonus, $53,000 in base salary and a $12,000 housing allowance. There’s also $13,500 available in playtime bonuses and standard all-star and outstanding player incentives which could push his total compensation to more than $100,000.

In 2018, Ekakitie’s base salary jumps to $62,000, with Feb. 15 roster bonus of $13,000, a $10,000 bonus for reporting to training camp and passing his physical, another $12,000 in housing and $18,000 in potential playtime money available. 2019 includes $70,000 base, $27,000 in possible playtime cash and similar roster bonus, report and pass and housing amounts.

Ekakitie’s contract features a 14 per cent jump in guaranteed money from the $77,000 offensive lineman Josiah St. John received as the first overall pick from the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2016 – a deal that only came together after a lengthy holdout. Redblacks offensive lineman Alex Mateas received more than $80,000 in guaranteed money after Ottawa took him first overall in 2015.

Ekakitie is expected to compete for a starting defensive tackle position and if he earns that job the 24-year-old could have a chance to earn all of his playtime money.

The CFL salary cap for this season is $5,150,000, up $50,000 from last year – an increase of less than one per cent.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (550 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

40 Comments on First overall pick in 2017 CFL draft gets healthy raise

  1. mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm //

    If you think that’s a lot wait until his next contract

  2. Stephen Fisher // May 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm //

    How can teams deal with the cap when there are so many contingencies? What if a large number of players on the team is named to the All-Star team? Are there certain types of payments which do not count toward the cap?

  3. When the 2015 top pick made more than $80,000 in guaranteed dollars, and the 2017 top pick makes $88,000 in guaranteed money, you’d think the 2016 pick would have made a salary somewhere in between those numbers.
    St. John only making $77,000 seems to put the blame on his hold out squarely on the shoulders of his team for refusing to pay market value and making negotiations nasty.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm //

      and yet Jones then pays big money for Derrick Dennis. I really can’t figure out if Jones doesn’t understand the ration or just chooses to completely discards it.

    • There is no guaranteed money in the CFL. If Ekakitie is cut he will not receive his base pay or housing allowance.

      • By guaranteed money, the article means money that is not based on performance bonuses. The base contract + housing allowance + signing bonus etc.. This is different than money for starting x number of games or making the all star team.

  4. Rick cowan // May 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm //

    Stampland why do you always have to say something about Jone’s or the Riders you never say anything wrong about your stamps

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 3:41 pm //

      I say stuff about the stamps all the time. Look around this site

      • MarcusCrandell2007 // May 16, 2017 at 11:45 pm //

        Beyond saying “historic McMahon Stadium” you don’t say much about the stamps….

  5. the paw // May 16, 2017 at 3:57 pm //

    If Ekakitie starts in his rookie year, he will be totally worth it. If he doesn’t, it’s less of a hit, and a good long term investment.

    I can’t believe I am going to defend Chris Jones, but in all fairness, St. John like most rookie OL isn’t projected to start in their first year. The developmental curve being a little longer, that’s reflected in the contract.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm //

      True, but how often does a cfl draft pick hold out?
      Either Jones mishandled the situation or mishandled the decision to draft him

      • … or both?

        • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 5:26 pm //

          very true

          • Riders13 // May 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm //

            I’m not a Jones fan but the paw makes an excellent point that St John should be given some time to develop before roasting Jones about using a 1st round pick on him. As a rookie GM, Jones was seriously found wanting in a number of areas, but ST John has admitted that he would’ve done things differently if it weren’t for the bad advice of his agent…an agent who apparently has a history of having his clients use holding out as a bargaining strategy.
            I have to admit, Kyle Walters has done a very fine job during his tenure and agreeing to a contract with Akakitie is another example. Some of his free agent signings have worked out and his success during the draft is probably the best of all GMs over the past 3 years. His lack of an o-line, which is below average, and his faith in Nichols is puzzling but who knows.

  6. mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm //

    Again this would question why would Jones make him his pick knowing negotiations could be difficult. That type of thing needs to be considered when making a pick. JSJ is an experiment anyways. Was he worth the risk especially knowing he could full well miss camp that he can ill afford to lose? Know this year it sounds like he’s coming in over weight. Bad choices lead to bad football

    • SaskWatch // May 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm //

      Sorry to interrupt your usual Rider/Jones bashing but St. John is coming into camp 15 lbs. lighter than last year. He also spent the offseason with the Riders strength and conditioning coach. Says he’s currently stronger than he’s ever been.

      Your comment is just another example of the BS you routinely spew.

      As you were mrnincumpoop.

      • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 8:34 pm //

        but still a few pounds over where they want him. He’s got 11 days to his weight in!

        • SaskWatch // May 16, 2017 at 9:55 pm //

          You haven’t a fn clue what you’re talking about (as usual). He wasn’t given a specific amount of weight to lose, and if you think 6’ 5” 309 lbs. is heavy for his position then maybe take a look around the league.

          I really should know better than to respond to your stupid comments… And I was doing so well the past several weeks.

          • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 10:36 pm //

            lol he’s only lost 15 or 17 pounds required,
            Let me ask you this.. if yo are 5 ’10 and weight 185 are you over weight?
            The answer….it depends on your body type and muscle mass..just like 6’5 is 309 over weight??

    • His lack of Oline? Bombers gave up the 3rd least sacks and had the number 3 running back in the league last year

  7. Antlerman // May 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm //

    You guys always yap about Jones sure he makes some mistakes but he been in his position for one season he had made some unpopular choices that had to be made but he also attracts talent and for me find the team going in the right direction and he needs time to build a club that constantly compete and anybody thats played a sport know that.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 8:44 pm //

      Attracts talent? who’s he attracted that was either out of choices,was traded for or was thrown money? Where is all this young talent his 70 scouts were going to find? Seems to me training camp is all retreaded veterans.
      With all his import receivers he signed for trade bait, where are the trades? Like extra draft picks or James Franklin or Vernon Adams?
      Things are starting to come fruition and the pillars of Chris Jones off season architecture are starting to crumble as predicted

  8. Southwest cowboy // May 16, 2017 at 9:10 pm //

    This will be Jones’ final year. At season’s end Reynolds will fall on his sword and the Riders will eat the last year of that ridiculous contract Reynolds gave Jones.

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm //

      and another 3/4 of a million will be added to the riders debt load. Do Rider fans know what insolvent means?

  9. Antlerman // May 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm //

    Well we see what happens and Hufnagel never built the Stamp organization in one year either
    Chris has been a winner everywhere he has been so i would be suprised if tha didnt continue .
    But Buddy you definetly .have a weird obsession with Mr Jones and i were him i get security

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 9:41 pm //

      ummm..actually he did. he took over a 7-10-1 team (a rare losing season for stamps) and turned it into a 13-5 team and Grey Cup champion!

  10. Antlerman // May 16, 2017 at 9:42 pm //

    Oh ya Stampy you never did say which one was it your wife or your dog ?

  11. Antlerman // May 16, 2017 at 10:00 pm //

    Haha you know

  12. Rick cowan // May 16, 2017 at 10:01 pm //

    The stamps never do anything wrong oh ya didn’t Jofhrey Reynolds play for the Stamps

    • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm //

      what did Joffrey Reynolds do while playing for the stamps (besides win rushing titles)???????????????

  13. Riders Suck // May 16, 2017 at 10:20 pm //

    Stampland owns all you rider losers hahahahaha so funny how he gets you all worked up

  14. mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm //

    its not about working people up its about getting the facts and reality out there

    • SaskWatch // May 16, 2017 at 10:53 pm //

      Umm no, the horse’s ass is right… You do it to antagonise.

      • mrnehnehincognito // May 16, 2017 at 11:15 pm //

        No I do not. That’s just how you choose in interpret it SaskWatch. Let go of your anger. The world doesn’t hate you it loves you 🙂

  15. Stampland’s right about retreads. Glenn, backup Wpg, LaFrance, 3rd string Ott, Minter, backup Stamps, Steele, backup Edm – all projected starters Riders. Jones got a lot of guys who can play special teams like Love (may start here), Milton, Morris & so on but the starters, who knows. The fact he ran a 35 yr old fan favourite out of town because he can’t win games & replaced him with a QB who’s won 3 games as a starter the past 2 yrs should tell you all you need to know about Jones’ genius. Just like Chip Kelly when the Eagles made him VP football operations, he tore up the club to bring in his kind of players. Goodbye titles, hello OC of the Niners. Maybe that’s where Jones’ calling lies – go back to DC somewhere again.

  16. Philski // May 17, 2017 at 6:06 am //

    Why, what’s he done? “Guaranteed money” is a joke in any sport. The majority of these “guaranteed” money makers flame out and go back to selling cars.

  17. Marc Lebut // May 17, 2017 at 9:29 am //

    Lots of money for a guy who didn’t play a single game. They’ll be grooming him and when his rookie contract will be over, they may lose him. Hope not for the Bombers, but this is a possibility.

  18. Ron Bates // May 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm //

    First the cap increase probably was scooped by wealthy owners for golf memberships. Awful! So the CFL policy to keep salaries in house has been usurped instead of a general overview of tendencies of individual teams. Again the almost implemented successful policy was hammered for whatever reason by writers who seem intent on this usurped approach!

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