The CFL’s ten highest-paid running backs & fullbacks

Photo: Nik Kowalski/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

3DownNation will be unveiling a series of top-ten lists over the next few days regarding the highest-paid players in the CFL.

Justin Dunk already reported the contract totals for the CFL’s nine top quarterbacks back in March, so we’ll start this series with running backs and fullbacks.

Please note that salaries, roster bonuses, housing allowances, and performance bonuses have been prorated over the CFL’s shortened 14-game season in 2021. This means players will earn 22 percent less than the values listed under those designations. Only signing bonuses are being paid in full.

Prorated contract values have been listed below in parenthesis beside their full values. In the event that players make the same amount of money, they are listed in alphabetical order by last name.

1) RB Andrew Harris, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (N) — $170,000 ($133,000)

The 34-year-old received a prorated $25,000 bonus after making the active roster for one game and another prorated $16,250 after dressing for his sixth game. He will also receive a prorated $5,000 bonus if he’s named the Most Outstanding Canadian in the West Division, bringing his full earning potential to $175,000.

2) RB William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes (A) — $125,000 ($104,000)

The six-foot, 233-pound ball carrier collected a $25,000 signing bonus when he signed his two-year contract with Montreal. His deal includes additional bonuses for reaching 1,500 rushing yards and 2,000 all-purpose yards, though a shortened season has made those totals next to impossible to hit.

3) FB Mike Miller, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (N) — $93,000 ($72,000)

The native of Riverview, N.B. collected a prorated $10,000 bonus for dressing for one game this year as well as a prorated $3,000 bonus for dressing for three. It has been a worthwhile investment for the Blue Bombers as Miller leads the CFL with 20 special teams tackles on the season.

4) RB Sean Thomas-Erlington, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (N) — $92,500 ($72,000)

The Montreal native fought through injuries last season, which led to the inclusion of a playtime bonus in his new contract. His deal includes an extra incentive to stay healthy this year as he’ll receive an additional prorated $2,500 bonus if he dresses for at least 75 percent of the team’s games.

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

5) FB Declan Cross, Toronto Argonauts (N) — $86,000 ($67,000)

The four-year veteran can run, catch, block, and tackle — all the skills required of an elite CFL fullback. His contract includes a clause that pays an additional $500 every time he plays more than 50 percent of Toronto’s offensive snaps in a game.

6) RB James Wilder Jr., Edmonton Elks (A) — $85,000 ($66,000)

The former Grey Cup champion has played well for the Elks since coming out of retirement this past winter. His deal includes an additional prorated $3,000 bonus if he leads the CFL in rushing yards — he currently sits second behind Stanback — and an additional prorated $10,000 bonus if he is named the league’s Most Outstanding Player.

7) RB Brendan Gillanders, Ottawa Redblacks (N) — $82,500 ($66,000)

The Ottawa native has dressed for four games this year, recording three carries for six yards. He’ll get a prorated $1,000 bonus if he makes the active roster for ten games and an additional prorated $1,500 is he reaches ten special teams tackles.

8) RB Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders (A) — $82,200 ($66,000)

The Arizona product collected an $8,000 bonus for reporting to training camp. He also earns an extra $300 every game he’s on the field for more than 50 percent of the Stampeders’ offensive plays, which he’s earned consistently as their starter this season.

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

9) RB William Powell, Saskatchewan Roughriders (A) — $82,000 ($63,000)

The 33-year-old earned a $5,000 signing bonus to ink his new deal, which includes a $10,000 prorated housing bonus. He will earn an extra prorated $1,000 if he is named a West Division all-star and $2,000 if he is named a CFL all-star.

T-10) RB Kienan LaFrance, Saskatchewan Roughriders (N) — $80,000 ($62,000)

The Manitoba product receives an additional $500 bonus each time he’s on the field for more than 50 percent of Saskatchewan’s offensive plays in a game. He will also earn an extra prorated $1,000 if he reaches ten special teams tackles this season.

T-10) RB Ante Milanovic-Litre, Calgary Stampeders (N) — $80,000 ($63,000)

The Vancouver native received a $3,000 bonus for reporting to training camp and passing his physical. He has recorded 28 carries for 96 yards and 12 receptions for 85 yards this season.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.