CFL’s leading tackler in 2021, LB Darnell Sankey signs with Saskatchewan Roughriders

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed linebacker Darnell Sankey to a one-year contract for the 2022 season, per sources.

The West Division all-star received interest from multiple teams after a rookie season with the Calgary Stampeders in 2021 that saw him record a league-leading 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, but was 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 that same 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 in 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.