Not Lee-ving the west coast: B.C. Lions sign star defensive back T.J. Lee to contract extension

Photo courtesy: Paul Yates/B.C. Lions

The B.C. Lions are signing defensive back T.J. Lee to a one-year contract extension for the 2022 CFL season, per sources.

Lee started all 14 games at the difficult boundary halfback position during the shortened schedule last year and recorded 71 tackles, 12 special teams tackles, four interceptions while forcing one fumble for the Leos.

The 31-year-old cover man has spent his entire seven-year career in Canada on the west coast. In 2018 Lee earned CFL all-star status and in 2019 was voted the team’s nominee for the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award. He’s made 384 tackles, 31 knockdowns, 26 special teams tackles, 20 interceptions, forced seven fumbles, notched four sacks and scored one defensive touchdown in 94 games.

The five-foot-nine, 190-pound Lee was born in Seattle and played his NCAA football at Eastern Washington University. He spent four productive years and played 49 games with the Eagles racking up 182 tackles, four interceptions and a school-record seven forced fumbles while helping EWU win a D-1AA National Championship alongside Calgary Stampeders franchise quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

Lee was a three-time first-team All Big-Sky Conference selection and earned first-team FCS All-American honours after his senior season in 2013. He went unselected in the 2014 NFL Draft and originally signed with the Lions in May that year. B.C. re-signs the most important defensive pending free agent on their list of expiring contracts.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.