The CFL’s ten highest-paid linebackers

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

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

We’ve already reported the top-earning quarterbacksrunning backsreceivers, offensive linemen, and defensive linemen, so today we’re shifting to the the linebacking corps.

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) WLB Cameron Judge, Toronto Argonauts (N) — $150,000 ($126,000)

The former first-round CFL draft pick received a $40,000 signing bonus to join the Argos in free agency following a breakout season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2019. He started Toronto’s first six games at weak-side linebacker and recorded eleven total tackles but has since been sidelined with an ankle injury.

2) WLB Simoni Lawrence, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (A) — $135,000 ($109,000)

The four-time all-star got a $40,000 signing bonus to extend his deal with the Ticats, which helped buoy his prorated earnings. He also has a number of prorated bonuses in his contract, including an additional $3,000 if he leads the league in tackles, $3,000 if he’s named a CFL all-star, and $5,000 if he wins an end-of-year award at the league level.

3) SAM Derrick Moncrief, Edmonton Elks (A) — $132,000 ($88,000)

The former CFL all-star signed a monster deal to join the Elks at the start of September and has since made 15 total tackles and a sack in five games. He earned $20,000 upfront in the form of a signing bonus, though his prorated earnings were hurt by missing the first four games of the season.

4) WLB Chris Ackie, Montreal Alouettes (N) — $130,000 ($107,000)

The former first-round pick received a $20,000 signing bonus to join the Als as well as a prorated $5,000 bonus for making the active roster for the first time. Ackie also receives a $1,000 bonus each time he’s on the field for more than 51 percent of Montreal’s defensive plays.

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

5) MLB Adam Bighill, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (A) — $125,000 ($111,000)

The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player redid his contract in July to include three large roster bonuses totalling $60,000, which helped maximize his prorated contract value. He has been one of Winnipeg’s top contributors on defence this year, making 57 tackles, two sacks, and one interception in eleven games.

6) WLB Boseko Lokombo, B.C. Lions (N) — $122,500 ($100,000)

The six-year veteran got a $20,000 signing bonus to rejoin the Lions after one-year stints in Montreal and Toronto. He has started every game at weak-side linebacker this season and been ultra-productive, making 67 total tackles, four sacks, three interceptions, and one forced fumble.

7) MLB Larry Dean, Saskatchewan Roughriders (A) — $120,000 ($95,000)

The two-time all-star earned a $20,000 signing bonus to join Saskatchewan as a free agent in February. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in training camp, which has forced him to miss the entire year as well as a prorated $5,000 bonus he would have received after making the active roster for the first time.

8) WLB Dexter McCoil, Toronto Argonauts (A) — $113,000 ($94,000)

The former Most Outstanding Rookie got a $25,000 signing bonus to join the Argos and receives an additional $300 each week he makes the active roster, which he’s collected eleven times this season. He will also receive a prorated $1,500 bonus if he is named an East Division all-star.

Photo courtesy: David Moll/Calgary Stampeders

9) WLB Jameer Thurman, Calgary Stampeders (A) — $113,000 ($90,000)

The 26-year-old received a $10,000 signing bonus to return to the Stamps following stints in the NFL (2019) and XFL (2020). He has made 53 total tackles, two sacks, and two forced fumbles this season and earned an additional prorated $500 each time he’s played more than half of Calgary’s defensive snaps.

10) MLB Avery Williams, Ottawa Redblacks (A) — $110,000 ($92,000)

The three-year veteran received a $30,000 signing bonus to return to the nation’s capital in 2021 and has rewarded the team by making 75 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. He will receive a prorated $1,000 bonus if he leads the team in tackles, $2,000 if he leads the division in tackles, and $3,000 if he leads the league in tackles.

Best of the rest: WLB Micah Awe, Ottawa Redblacks; SAM Patrick Levels, Montreal Alouettes; SAM Mercy Maston, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (A); MLB Henoc Muamba, Toronto Argonauts; MLB Jovan Santos-Knox, Hamilton Tiger-Cats; SAM Jamar Wall, Calgary Stampeders.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.