Bo Levi Mitchell has restructured his contract with the Calgary Stampeders.
During free agency in February 2019, Mitchell signed a four-year contract worth $2.8 million. The deal made Mitchell the second highest-paid player in the CFL after Mike Reilly who signed a four-year pact with the B.C. Lions worth $2.9 million.
For Mitchell, each season was due to step up in compensation: $675,000, $695,000, $705,000 and $725,000 over the term of the contract. The only year Mitchell and the Stamps reworked was 2020, leaving the final two seasons of the pact untouched.
Originally, Mitchell was scheduled to make a $305,000 base salary, $21,000 in housing, $10,000 in travel and earn $350,000 for a roster bonus on February 1, 2020. Now Mitchell is set to collect a $291,000 base salary and a $250,000 roster bonus on February 1, 2020 plus $50,000 for signing the new agreement.
The total difference between the old deal and the new one equals $95,000 in 2020. Because Mitchell agreed and signed the arrangement in December 2019, the $50,000 signing bonus counts towards the Stampeders’ 2019 salary cap. That allows Calgary to create $145,000 of cap room for the 2020 season with Mitchell on the books for $550,000.
There were mitigating factors for the contract restructure. The salary cap did not increase as much as anticipated and the minimum salary jumped from $54,000 to $65,000 in the collective bargaining agreement. Mitchell changed his contract in order to benefit the Stamps and help the roster overall. It’s still a raise from the $475,000 Mitchell collected in 2018.
Mitchell capped that stellar season by leading the Stamps to a CFL championship after avoiding the knife for a shoulder injury. The 29-year-old became the first player in league history to throw for more than 5,000 yards without having a single receiver record 1,000 yards. Despite an ever-changing receiving corps, Mitchell adapted on the fly and still led the CFL in touchdown passes with 35.
An unfortunate pectoral injury limited Mitchell to 11 games in 2019. He passed for 3,464 yards with 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions while completing 66 percent of his attempts. Calgary went 12-6 during the regular season, finishing second-place in the West Division, but lost the Western Semi-Final at McMahon Stadium to the eventual Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The face of the franchise in Calgary has led the Stampeders to two Grey Cups, earned two CFL title game MVP awards and two CFL MOP trophies. Mitchell originally signed with Calgary in 2012 and spent that season as the third-string quarterback. He started his first CFL game in 2013 and earned the full-time number-one quarterback role in 2014.
Mitchell is the leader of the Stamps and once again shows he’s willing to do whatever it takes — on and off the field — to help Calgary win another Grey Cup under his guidance.