The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have rewarded quarterback Zach Collaros by making him the highest-paid player in the CFL for the 2022 season.
Collaros will earn $550,000 — all hard money — on the one-year contract extension he signed for his QB services during the upcoming campaign. That’s over a $125,000 raise from what the 33-year-old took home in 2021.
For putting his signature on the dotted line, Collaros received an $87,000 signing bonus, when he makes the active roster for the first time he’ll collect $151,000 along with a $300,000 base salary and $12,000 in housing.
If Michael Reilly does continue playing, his currently scheduled salary of $575,000 will be restructured lower than what Collaros is slated to collect. It’s likely the only other quarterback who could earn over $500,000 is Cody Fajardo of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, he has an agreement worth $509,000 in hard money for 2022.
Since arriving in Winnipeg at the trade deadline in October 2019, Collaros has played the best football of his career. He’s won 17 of 19 starts, including back-to-back Grey Cups, and earned the league’s Most Outstanding Player award in a unanimous vote.
Collaros made a prorated $424,285.71 last season while leading the CFL with 20 touchdown passes, a 111.0 QB rating and finishing second in passing yards with 3,185 in 13 starts. He was the best quarterback in the three-down league and even his counterparts would agree, while definitely being underpaid.
The six-foot, 222-pound QB first signed in the CFL with the Argos in 2012 and has since appeared in 105 regular season games with Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg. He has a 46-34 win-loss record as a starter in his career while throwing for 20,164 yards with 114 touchdowns against 58 interceptions.
The Bombers acquired Collaros in a trade with the Argonauts. Winnipeg received a fifth round 2020 CFL Draft pick in exchange for a third round selection and a conditional first round pick that same year. That selection was officially granted to the Toronto in January 2020 when Collaros signed a two-year extension with the Bombers.
Winnipeg pays up for Collaros as the unquestioned leader of the blue and gold looks to guide the Bombers to a three-peat.