CFL’s running back salaries for 2022 season

Photo: Nik Kowalski/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Most CFL teams don’t splurge at the running back position, but it’s still intriguing to know how much ball carriers around the league are getting paid. Below we’ve listed the top-earning CFL running backs for the 2022 season complete with a few details from each contract.

“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, a 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. These bonuses are often tied to yardage production, scoring production, 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) Andrew Harris, Toronto Argonauts (N)

Signing bonus: $40,000
Base salary: $108,000
Hard money: $165,000

The soon-to-be 35-year-old remains the CFL’s highest-paid running back, a distinction he held in 2021 while playing for his hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Harris will also receive a $5,000 bonus for any year-end league award he receives such as Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian.

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes

2) William Stanback, Montreal Alouettes (A)

Signing bonus: $25,000
Base salary: $90,000
Hard money: $150,000

The two-time 1,000-yard rusher is the league’s highest-paid American running back and recently cashed in on an extension that ties him to La Belle Province through 2023. Stanback’s contract also contains a $5,000 bonus if he is named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Players and a $3,000 bonus if he is named a CFL all-star.

3) Ka’Deem Carey, Calgary Stampeders (A)

Signing bonus: $12,000
Base salary: $100,000
Hard money: $132,000

The 29-year-old got a huge bump from the $66,000 he earned on a prorated contract in 2021 after rushing for 869 yards and seven touchdowns in Cowtown. Carey’s contract also includes a $2,500 bonus if he leads the CFL in rushing yards and a $1,500 bonus if he leads the CFL in rushing touchdowns.

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

4) James Wilder Jr., Edmonton Elks (A)

Signing bonus: $35,000
Base salary: $65,000
Hard money: $124,000

Wilder Jr. was one of few bright spots for Edmonton in 2021, recording 770 rushing yards, 226 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. The Florida State product will also receive a $5,000 bonus if he is named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player.

5) Ante Milanovic-Litre, Edmonton Elks (N)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $75,000
Hard money: $102,000

The former Stampeder got a raise after heading north in free agency. The Simon Fraser product will receive an extra $500 each time he dresses for a game as well as $1,000 if he makes 10 special teams tackles on the season.

6) Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (N)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $82,000
Hard money: $92,000

The Winnipeg native started six games last season and should get plenty of work in 2022 following the free agent departure of Andrew Harris. Oliveira will also receive a $750 bonus each time he plays more than half of Winnipeg’s offensive snaps in a game as well as a $1,500 bonus if he dresses for nine or more games.

Photo courtesy: David Moll/Calgary Stampeders

7) Johnny Augustine, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (N)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $71,000
Hard money: $91,000

The Guelph product rushed for 285 yards in a depth role last season, though he’s expected to receive more touches this year. Augustine will also receive $750 each time he plays more than half of Winnipeg’s offensive snaps in a game.

8) Brendan Gillanders, Ottawa Redblacks (N)

Signing bonus: $8,000
Base salary: $82,500
Hard money: $90,500

The native of Orleans, Ont. will look to return to form in 2022 after dressing for only eight games last season due to injury. He will also receive $250 each time he plays the majority of Ottawa’s offensive snaps, a $2,500 bonus is he dresses for five games, and a $2,500 bonus if he dresses for ten games.

9) Jeshrun Antwi, Montreal Alouettes (N)

Signing bonus: $7,000
Base salary: $65,000
Hard money: $87,000

The former sixth-round pick rushed for 176 yards in 2021 in spot duty behind CFL all-star William Stanback. Antwi will also earn $500 each time he takes more than half of Montreal’s offensive snaps in a game as well as $100 each time he makes a special teams tackle.

Photo courtesy: Ticats.ca/Brandt Clarke

T-10) Don Jackson, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (A)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $68,000
Hard money: $85,000

The four-year veteran breathed life into Hamilton’s rushing attack late in 2021 and is poised to be the day-one starter this season. He will also receive a $500 bonus if he leads the team in rushing as well as $1,000 if he reaches 1,000 rushing yards or 500 receiving yards.

T-10) Sean Thomas-Erlington, Hamilton Tiger-Cats (N)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $73,000
Hard money: $85,000

The 29-year-old is coming off a down year with the Ticats, which is why his contract came down slightly in value from 2021. He will earn an additional $800 each time he plays more than half of Hamilton’s offensive snaps in a game as well as $1,000 if he reaches 1,000 yards rushing or receiving.

12) Kienan LaFrance, Saskatchewan Roughriders (N)

Signing bonus: $3,000
Base salary: $67,000
Hard money: $83,500

The Manitoba product plays a rotational role on offence and special teams and is entering his fourth season with the Roughriders. He will earn an additional $500 each time he plays more than half of Saskatchewan’s offensive plays and a $1,000 bonus if he makes ten special teams tackles.

13) William Powell, Ottawa Redblacks (A)

Signing bonus: $0
Base salary: $70,000
Hard money: $80,000

The seven-year veteran posted a career-low 4.4 yards-per-carry with the Riders last season but is looking to bounce back with Ottawa in 2022. His contract includes a $1,000 bonus if he is able to reach 1,000 rushing yards and a $2,000 bonus if he is named a CFL all-star.

14) Jamal Morrow, Saskatchewan Roughriders (A)

Signing bonus: $5,000
Base salary: $65,000
Hard money: $76,300

The 27-year-old played well in 2021 and has the versatility to make an impact as a ball carrier, a receiver out of the backfield, and as a return specialist. Morrow’s deal also includes a $200 bonus each time he plays more than half of Saskatchewan’s offensive snaps in a game as well as a $2,000 bonus if he is the CFL’s return yardage leader.