Who Earns What: Highest and Average Salaries for Canadian Football League Players

The CFL can’t compete with the NFL regarding average salaries, but that doesn’t mean they are underpaid or rolling in cash. The CFL banned clubs from publishing their players’ salaries, but each club’s salary cap is publicly known.

There have been some controversies surrounding CFL players’ salaries in recent years, and there have also been some improvements that have even spilt into CFL sports betting. However, before we dig into that, let’s look at some of the top-paid players in the CFL.


Highest Canadian Football League Player Salary

As seen in almost every sports league, star players rake in more money than average players. We got this data from the 2021 14-match season.

Player Name Club/Team Salary
Andrew Harris Winnipeg Blue Bombers $170,000
William Stanback Montreal Alouettes $125,000
Mike Miller Montreal Alouettes $93,000
Sean Thomas-Erlington Hamilton Tiger-Cats $92,500
Declan Cross Toronto Argonauts $86,000
James Wilder Jr Edmonton Elks $85,000
Brendan Gillanders Ottawa Redblacks $82,500
Ka’Deem Carey Calgary Stampeders $82,200
William Powell Saskatchewan Roughriders $82,000
Kienan LaFrance Saskatchewan Roughriders $80,000


A Salary Increase for CFL Players?

A few months ago, players had refused the first agreement in principle to accept the second.

But make no mistake, CFL players are not rolling in gold, far from it. And it’s not during this new seven-year agreement that it will happen.

According to information obtained by Pro Football Network, the salary increases will come in dribs and drabs.

The salary cap in 2022 will be $5.35M per team. If we do a quick calculation of 50 players per club, we end up with an approximate average of $105,000 per player.

The salary cap will only increase to $6M at the end of this new agreement. This means that in seven years, the average will only increase by $15,000 to settle at $120,000.

Note that as of the 2024 season, players will begin to receive a percentage of revenue sharing. We are talking about 25% during the first year, with increases of up to 30% at the end of the agreement. This includes revenue generated from the Gray Cup game.


The Minimum Wage Also Increases A Little

The minimum wage will increase from $65,000 (2021) to $70,000 in 2022 and will only increase to $75,000 by the end of the agreement. An addition that does not cover the increase in the cost of living, which usually is 2%. Also, it might increase in recent months.

Take note: CAD$70,000 represents US$55,454 for American players.

Starting in 2023, teams will be required to have seven Canadian players as starters, an increase of one from what is currently applicable. On the other hand, one of these eight players can be an American player who has played at least 5 seasons in the CFL or 3 with the same club.

It’s also a start for partially guaranteed contracts in the CFL, but beware, it is not for everyone. A player who has completed his first CFL contract can ensure that half his salary will be guaranteed during the last year of a subsequent contract. The player must have signed a contract of more than one season with this same team.

Once a week, players will play with full equipment for a maximum of 12 times a year and a maximum of 45 minutes at a time.

Players requiring treatment after their retirement will be able to do so at the expense of the CFL for the 5 years following their last game, starting in 2023.



The Canadian Football League has been great at keeping hold of great talents to keep the league going without breaking out of the already set annual budget. Even though there are possible salary increments scheduled for the coming seasons, the CFL approach has slowly strengthened its position in the sporting world.

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