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Sunday, July 14, 2024

The 25 Highest-Paid CFL Players

Nov 29, 2015; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Edmonton Eskimos fans celebrate after the team defeated the Ottawa Redblacks in the Grey Cup game at Investors Group Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s cousins to the north, the CFL (Canadian Football League) have to play in the shadows of the sports behemoth both in talent and earnings. But the highest-paid CFL players of 2024 still do relatively well compared to the league average of $73,200.

Zach Collaros is the highest-paid CFL player of 2024. Playing at quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Collaros earns $600,000 yearly. He’s earned the top salary spot after posting career-highs in 2023 in passing yards and average yards per completion. 

Collaros signed his deal with the Blue Bombers in 2022. He had just won back-to-back Most Outstanding Player awards. 

Chad Kelly comes in second, raking in just under $600,000 a year. Kelly makes $583,000 per year for the Toronto Argonauts as their quarterback. He’s the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. He won the 2023 Most Outstanding Player award for the CFL. 

Third on the list is quarterback Trevor Harris. Playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Harris’ contract guarantees him $473,000 for the year. At 38 years old, he is the oldest player on the list. 

McLeod Bethel-Thompson holds the fourth spot on the highest-paid CFL players list. His salary of $461,000 with the Edmonton Elks includes a $150,000 signing bonus. 

Bethel-Thompson spent his last season as the quarterback of the now-disbanded New Orleans Breakers in the United States Football League (USFL). 

The fifth highest-paid CFL player is another quarterback, Cody Fajardo of the Montreal Alouettes. Fajardo will earn $432,000 this year after signing a one-year extension. He can earn an additional $18,000 if he plays at least 51% of the snaps. 

Unsurprisingly, quarterbacks dominate the highest-paid CFL players list. Considered one of the toughest positions to play in sports, nine quarterbacks are in the top 25 highest-paid players. This includes the top seven highest-earners. 

Out of the top 25 highest-paid players in the CFL, 88% play on the offense. Only three players made the list from the defensive side of the ball, and none of those three play in the defensive backfield.

Defensive backs are the lowest-earning position. No players cracked the top 25, and none are earning over $200,000.

Ranking The Highest-Paid Canadian Football League Players

Here is the entire list of the top 25 highest-paid CFL players of 2024 by salary. The list was compiled using data from the CFL and 3downnation.

  • Updated: May 20, 2024
RankPlayerPositionTeamOrganizationTotal Compensation
1Zach CollarosQuarterbackWinnipeg Blue BombersCFL$600K
2Chad KellyQuarterbackToronto ArgonautsCFL$583K
3Trevor HarrisQuarterbackSaskatchewan RoughridersCFL$473K
4McLeod Bethel-ThompsonQuarterbackEdmonton ElksCFL$461K
5Cody FajardoQuarterbackMontreal AlouettesCFL$432K
6Vernon Adams JrQuarterbackB.C. LionsCFL$403K
7Jake MaierQuarterbackCalgary StampedersCFL$339K
8Eugene LewisWide ReceiverEdmonton ElksCFL$320K
9Dru BrownQuarterbackOttawa RedblacksCFL$286K
10Kenny LawlerWide ReceiverWinnipeg Blue BombersCFL$285K
11Drew DesjarlaisOffensive LinemanOttawa RedblacksCFL$260K
12Mark KorteOffensive LinemanEdmonton ElksCFL$245K
13Folarin OrimoladeDefensive LinemanToronto ArgonautsCFL$240K
14Jermarcus HardrickOffensive LinemanSaskatchewan RoughridersCFL$230K
15Dalton SchoenWide ReceiverWinnipeg Blue BombersCFL$230K
16Brady OliveiraRunning BackWinnipeg Blue BombersCFL$230K
17Bo Levi MitchellQuarterbackHamilton Tiger-CatsCFL$225K
18Nic DemskiWide ReceiverWinnipeg Blue BombersCFL$225K
19Alexander HollinsWide ReceiverB.C. LionsCFL$223K
20Tim WhiteWide ReceiverHamilton Tiger-CatsCFL$210K
21Kurleigh Gittens JrWide ReceiverEdmonton ElksCFL$210K
22Jake CeresnaDefensive LinemanToronto ArgonautsCFL$210K
23Ryan HunterOffensive LinemanToronto ArgonautsCFL$209K
24Wynton McManisLinebackerToronto ArgonautsCFL$208K
25Brandon RevenbergOffensive LinemanHamilton Tiger-CatsCFL$205K

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