Market settled Tim White’s $300,000 asking price, led to extension with Tiger-Cats

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

CFL all-star Tim White wanted top-of-the-market money in CFL free agency but the Tiger-Cats weren’t about to pay it blindly.

Hamilton general manager Ed Hervey wanted to be patient and let free agency tell him whether White deserved his $300,000 asking price.

“That number was floating around, but until something becomes a reality, you don’t know how you’re gonna respond to it. From our perspective, we really looked at it as Tim was a priority for our football team, but we were so far apart with respect to expectations. I believed that the market had to go and show what it was capable of,” Hervey explained.

When it comes to free agency, things are never personal. That’s what gets thrown out, there’s a belief that there’s a disconnect between the agent and the team or the player and the team. All business was handled through the agent, communication was daily. I think both sides were very aware of the market and had to let the market play out.”

The Ticats and White agreed to a two-year contract worth $210,000 in hard money for the 2024 season with an additional $25,300 available in playtime, performance and awards incentives. In 2025, he’s scheduled to earn $224,800 in hard money with the same amount obtainable in playtime, performance and awards bonuses.

“Free agency is an interesting time for players and teams because there’s so much unpredictability. Given the situation, we went into free agency prepared and understanding where our priorities were. Clearly through our efforts, Tim proved to be someone that was a priority for us and we were successful at getting Tim for more than one year, which I think bodes well for both sides,” Hervey said.

“I liked to believe that with all optimism that it was gonna get done. Did we think that we were going to lose Tim White? Tim White was a priority for us — we were all in lockstep. It was a decision that Tim had to come to with respect to where the market was and where he wanted to finish his career.”

The 29-year-old posted 75 receptions for a career-high 1,269 yards and eight touchdowns in 2023, leading the league in receiving yards and second-down conversions. He was named a CFL all-star for the second consecutive year and an East Division all-star for the third straight season.

“I stayed in contact with Tim without trying to hound him, just letting him know how much he meant to us and that we wanted them back. As far as the numbers, the contract and things, I don’t get involved in that,” head coach Scott Milanovich said.

“Ed and I are on the same page, I know he’s going to do what’s right for the organization and do what’s right for the player. As a coach, I think sometimes you have to some degree prepare for the worst case, I know I’m made that way. Really pleased we were able to get him back, that’s a big piece for our offence.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.