CFL’s leading tackler in 2021, LB Darnell Sankey expected to hit free agent market

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

With the opening of the CFL’s negotiating window, the league’s leading tackler in 2021 will likely have a new home for 2022.

Per sources, middle linebacker Darnell Sankey is not expected to sign an extension with the Calgary Stampeders ahead of free agency. The West Division all-star is receiving interest after a rookie season in Canada that saw him record 98 total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

The six-foot-one, 246-pound backer originally signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted NFL free agent in 2016, before being released at the conclusion of training camp and briefly joining the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad. Sankey spent a month on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad at the end of the 2016 season.

In 2017, he attended training camp with the Minnesota Vikings. After being released, Sankey signed with the Indianapolis Colts and played six games during the 2017 season. He spent time on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad and briefly re-rejoined the Colts then signed with the Detroit Lions in 2018. In 2019, Sankey attended training camp with the New Orleans Saints.

During his time in the NFL, Sankey earned $384,717 USD. He earned $75,500 prorated n his first year playing in the CFL.

In four seasons (2012-2015) at Sacramento State University, Sankey recorded 330 tackles including 27.5 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception that he returned for a touchdown. He would earn all-Big Sky Conference honours as a senior after amassing 153 tackles including nine tackles for loss in 11 games while adding 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

The 27-year-old Sankey is currently the 27th ranked prospect on 3DownNation’s list of pending free agents.