The B.C. Lions have submitted a big offer for CFL all-star receiver Kenny Lawler.
Per sources, the Leos have tabled a contract proposal that would pay the three-down league’s reigning receiving yards leader in the $250,000 range for the 2022 season. If accepted, it would make Lawler the CFL’s highest-paid non-quarterback.
According to CFL regulations, other teams have until Sunday, February 6 to make competing offers, before the Blue Bombers are granted an exclusive 48-hour window to make their own contract proposal. Lawler has from 10 a.m. ET to noon ET on Tuesday, February 8 to choose from any of the officially tabled deals, after which they are rendered void and he can become a free agent.
The six-foot-three, 197-pound pass catcher recorded 64 receptions for a league-leading 1,014 yards with six touchdowns in 13 regular season games while helping Winnipeg win the 108th Grey Cup last year. He averaged 78 yards per game, 15.8 yards per catch and had a league-best 10 plays of 30 yards or more.
The 27-year-old played 16 games in 2019 and led the blue and gold with 637 receiving yards on 41 receptions with four touchdowns. Those numbers helped him earn Winnipeg’s Most Outstanding Rookie honours. Lawler started three playoff games, adding eight receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown as the Bombers won the 107th Grey Cup.
Winnipeg wants to bring him back, but that quarter-million price tag would make it impossible. Lawler earned a prorated $93,000 last season with the Bombers and he’s a pending free agent exploring the negotiating window with opposing franchises.
B.C. wants to surround starting Canadian quarterback Nathan Rourke with as many high calibre weapons as possible and Lawler fits that bill. Head coach and co-general manager Rick Campbell named Rourke the starter entering the 2022 season and his bargain QB salary, approximately $80,000, gives the Lions salary cap space to add high-priced players.
The Lions gave Lucky Whitehead a contract that could see him earn $200,000 this coming season and re-signed perennial all-star Bryan Burnham for $165,000 in hard money. If Lawler was added to those two it would give B.C. the best trio of pass targets in the league without question.
Lawler worked out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, January 11, but instead of just waiting for an NFL contract, he’s also listening to offers north of the border.