CFL’s quarterback salaries for 2022 season

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

Every CFL team needs a franchise quarterback to be able to compete for the Grey Cup and that’s why organizations are willing to pay top dollar for proven talent.

2022 will be a rare year in which the three-down league’s highest-paid player will start at QB along with a player near the minimum $65,000 salary. From Zach Collaros to Nathan Rourke — and plenty in between — the contracts vary greatly in terms of how money will be earned by men tabbed to start behind centre around the country.

“Hard money” is a slang term used to refer to any portion of a contract that is paid even if a player is hurt. This includes salary, signing bonus, housing money, workout bonuses, travel allowances, off-season roster bonuses and report-and-pass bonuses.

Any additional portions — often referred to as “playtime” — are outlined in part or in full in the paragraph accompanying each player. Other bonuses are often tied to production, touchdowns, being named an all-star or winning a league award.

Please note that “N” denotes national players (ie. Canadians) and “A” denotes American players.

1) Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (A)

The 33-year-old has become the league’s highest-paid player after leading the Bombers to back-to-back Grey Cup wins and earning the CFL’s MOP award in 2021. He’s scheduled to earn $550,000 throughout the upcoming season.

2022 signing bonus: $87,000
2022 base salary: $300,000
2022 hard money: $550,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

2) Cody Fajardo, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Fajardo restructured his 2022 agreement with the Riders and it went down from $509,000 in hard money to a maximum possible value of $485,000. He’ll have to play 51 percent or more of the offensive snaps in each of Saskatchewan’s 18 games to collect the final $18,000 available in his deal.

2022 signing bonus: $170,000
2022 base salary: $280,000
2022 hard money: $467,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

3) Jeremiah Masoli, Ottawa Redblacks (A)

Masoli received the largest signing bonus given out in the CFL since Michael Reilly ($400,000) and Bo Levi Mitchell ($300,000) in 2019. The 33-year-old can boost his earnings to $450,000 by playing 51 percent of the offensive snaps per game through the 18 regular season weeks.

2022 signing bonus: $200,000
2022 base salary: $210,000
2022 hard money: $432,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

4) Bo Levi Mitchell, Calgary Stampeders (A)

Mitchell’s compensation package can max out at $485,000 over the course of an 18-game regular season. He can make up to $60,000 in playtime, earning a $3,333.33 bonus each time he takes at least 51 percent of the offensive snaps in a game.

2022 signing bonus: $100,000
2022 base salary: $270,000
2022 hard money: $425,000

AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

5) Dane Evans, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (A)

Evans can earn an extra $1,000 per game if he plays 51 percent of the offensive snaps for 18 weeks, which would bring his total to $432,000. It’s his first professional season entering training camp as the unquestioned starter and his potential earnings reflect the Ticats’ trust in him.

2022 signing bonus: $170,000
2022 base salary: $223,000
2022 hard money: $417,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

6) McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Toronto Argonauts (A)

If Bethel-Thompson is on the Argos active roster on May 16 — and all indications are he will be — the 33-year-old journeyman QB will receive $150,000. He has a training allowance of $10,000 and $12,000 in housing to round out his pact.

2022 signing bonus: $0
2022 base salary: $228,000
2022 hard money: $400,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

7) Vernon Adams Jr., Montreal Alouettes (A)

Every time Adams Jr. makes the active roster as a starter in 2022 he gets $2,555.55 per game and over 18 weeks that totals $46,000. The dual-threat QB has welcomed the competition from Trevor Harris and needs to hold off any challenge to maximize his earning potential.

2022 signing bonus: $190,000
2022 base salary: $187,000
2022 hard money: $399,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

8) Nick Arbuckle, Edmonton Elks (A)

General manager and head coach Chris Jones wants competition at all positions, including quarterback. He’s adamant money will not play a factor, however if Arbuckle remains on the roster with his current contract, it would take a lot to beat him out due to the financial investment.

2022 signing bonus: $100,000
2022 base salary: $228,000
2022 hard money: $340,000

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

9) Nathan Rourke, B.C. Lions (N)

Rourke has a bargain-rate deal — due to national rookie contracts being capped — for a backup let alone a starter. Canadian, American, Global or otherwise, co-general manager and head coach Rick Campbell has confidence in the Victoria, B.C. native. He can earn $416.66 per game for playing 51 percent of the offensive plays, which would top out his 2022 compensation.

2022 signing bonus: $0
2022 base salary: $65,000
2022 hard money: $71,500