CFL all-star receiver Kenny Lawler has made a commitment to sign with the Edmonton Elks, according to TSN reporter Dave Naylor.
Lawler will earn $300,000 in 2022 which will make him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league.
Winnipeg wanted to bring the CFL’s reigning receiving yards leader back, but his price tag made it impossible for general manager Kyle Walters to fit under their salary cap. Lawler earned a prorated $93,000 last season with the Blue Bombers.
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 in 2021. 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 the Bombers Most Outstanding Rookie honours. Lawler started three playoff games, adding eight receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown as Winnipeg won the 107th Grey Cup.
Lawler worked out for the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, January 11, but has since shifted his focus to the CFL. He first came to Canada with the B.C. Lions in 2018, attending training camp that year but he was released prior to the start of the regular season.
The Ponoma, CA native played 34 games during three years with the University of California Golden Bears from 2013 to 2015. He recorded 143 receptions for 1,706 yards and 27 touchdowns, mostly from the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jared Goff, averaging 11.9 yards per catch.
In the same class, Lawler was chosen in the seventh round, 243rd overall by Seattle. He spent time on the Seahawks practice squad that year and in 2017, earning $182,497 USD.