Beefing back up: Lions restructure contracts of OL Sukh Chungh, Hunter Steward

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

The B.C. Lions have restructured the contracts of two high-priced Canadian offensive lineman ahead of the 2021 CFL season.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji is reporting that the team has reached new one-year deals with both Sukh Chungh and Hunter Steward, bringing back two major pieces of a Lions offensive line that was dreadful in 2019.

Chungh in particular was subject to criticism with the Lions. The Port Coquitlam native earned a reputation as a road-grader in four seasons with the Winnipeg, earning West Division All-Star status in 2018, but fell flat in his return home. Chungh was hampered by injury throughout, dressing for just eight games with the Leos in 2019.

According to 3DownNation insider John Hodge, Chungh was set to earn $260,000 for the 2021 season with a $100,000 report and pass bonus, but the restructuring will now see the University of Calgary product take home much less. Lalji pegs the new contract at $165,000 for one year of service.

Steward is the club’s most senior offensive lineman, having been taken by the Lions sixth overall in the 2013 CFL Draft. The Liberty product was a versatile stop gap for the Lions last season, seeing time at both centre and right tackle in addition to his regular position at guard. In total, Steward appeared in 17 games in 2019, bringing his career total to 75.

The 29-year old was due a $20,000 roster bonus on February 1st, no doubt putting pressure on the renegotiation.

Despite the team’s struggles in 2019, the Lions view both Chungh and Steward as core pieces to the offensive line going forward and keeping them in the den to protect franchise quarterback Mike Reilly was clearly a top priority.