CFL teams may be cutting costs ahead of the 2021 season, but it looks like former Most Outstanding Defensive Player Adam Bighill won’t be on the chopping block in Winnipeg.
TSN’s Farhan Lalji is reporting that the All-Star middle linebacker has reached an agreement on a restructured contract that will keep him with the Blue Bombers next season. Bighill was reportedly set to make $260,000 in the final year of his three year deal, but has now taken “significantly less” to stay in Winnipeg.
“Shocked to hear that Adam Bighill’s contract for 2021 is 115k (down from 260k),” Lalji wrote on Twitter. “I know he has strong business interests in Winnipeg, but it speaks volumes for the atmosphere Mike O’Shea has created with the Bombers that a player would take that much less to stay there.”
The deal comes on the heels of reigning Grey Cup Champions re-signing star Canadian running back Andrew Harris and renegotiating the contract of 2019 Most Outstanding Defensive Player Willie Jefferson earlier this week. Jefferson took a $50,000 pay cut on his new deal, while Harris re-upped for $170,000 after earning $215,000 in 2019.
Bighill’s $145,000 pay cut is the biggest of the bunch and the he report should put to bed rumours that the eight year CFL veteran would become a salary cap casualty as teams are directed to spend only to the salary cap floor.
Bighill began his career with the B.C. Lions in 2011 and would spend six seasons in Vancouver, teaming up with teammate Solomon Elimimian to form one of the fiercest linebacking duos in CFL history.
Bighill won his first Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award in 2015 before jumping to the NFL in 2017. After spending the season as a special teams contributor for the New Orleans Saints, Bighill returned to the CFL in 2018 with Winnipeg, becoming the league’s top defensive player for the second time.
The five-time CFL All-Star has racked up 655 tackles, 41 sacks and 12 interceptions over the course of his career and helped the Bombers break their Grey Cup drought in 2019.
The reigning champs entered the 2021 offseason with a long to do list, but have managed to retain their core despite financial limitations. With their defensive leader firmly in the fold, there is no telling what the 2021 Bombers are capable of.