Saskatchewan Roughriders re-sign star receiver Duke Williams for 2022 season

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have re-signed star receiver Duke Williams to a one-year contract for the 2022 season, per sources.

Williams’ fresh pact will pay him $260,000 in hard money. There were a lot of teams involved with big cash on the table. He had other offers for more dollars — up to $300,000 — but ultimately felt like the Riders can win the Grey Cup which would fulfill his goal of winning a CFL championship.

The 28-year-old earned $73,000 last CFL season and if a full 18-game regular season was played, Williams would have collected $145,000.

Williams was unquestionably the top priority on the Riders board and general manager Jeremy O’Day has gotten him under contract before the CFL free agent market officially opens on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at noon ET.

In December, O’Day stated there was mutual interest in a contract extension between the team and Williams. He initially signed with Saskatchewan in October 2021 following a three-year stint in Buffalo where recorded 12 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown — a game-winning TD in his NFL debut — and earned nearly $700,000 USD with the Bills.

Williams is in the prime of his pro football career and had a dominant finish last season after returning from south of the border. The six-foot-three, 225-pound target recorded 26 receptions for 448 yards and two touchdowns in six games, including the playoffs, averaging 17.1 yards per catch. He had two 100-yard efforts while quickly developing a rapport with a new quarterback in Cody Fajardo.

During his only full season north of the border, Williams recorded 88 receptions for a league-leading 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns in 18 games, averaging 17.9 yards per catch. That production in 2018 and 2021 opened wallets around the three-down league and led to Williams being the highest paid non-quarterback in the CFL.