Edmonton Eskimos defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng went from sliding to the fifth round of the draft in 2017 to becoming the premier Canadian pass rusher in the CFL.
Boateng signed a two-year extension through the 2020 season to remain with the Eskimos.
The 23-year-old went from making minimum salary on his first contract to national starter money on the new deal. Boateng received a $50,000 signing bonus and $175,000 in “hard money” for 2019 with $30,000 in 2020 for a $380,000 total plus incentives, per sources. It’s potentially the largest jump in salary for a Canadian player who entered the league on an entry level deal.
As a rookie, Boateng displayed the ability to get to opposing quarterbacks even as a rotational player. During his sophomore season, Boateng earned a starting role playing 16 games and recording nine sacks earning team Most Outstanding Canadian honours.
That strong campaign drew NFL interest as Boateng worked out for the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins in December.
Over two years, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks product has 47 tackles and 13 sacks in 34 games. The two-time USports All-Canadian played an integral role in Laurier’s 2016 Yates Cup championship, the program’s first since 2005. Boateng is the Golden Hawks career sack leader (20.5) and proved his ability to rush the passer at the university level. He was a two-time academic All-Canadian as well.
Boateng had the most sacks by any Canadian defender in 2018 making the case for being the best national sack artist in the CFL. Edmonton has secured a legitimate ratio-breaking talent.