The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the biggest professional football league in Canada. In total, there are nine teams, each of which is based in a Canadian city.
The teams are further divided into two separate divisions: the West Division (BC Lions, Saskatchewan Roughriders, Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Edmonton Elks) and the East Division (Ottawa Redblacks, Hamilton Tiger Cats, Toronto Argonauts, and Montreal Alouettes).
Currently, the league has a 21-week regular season, which runs from June to early November. During this period, each team plays 18 games; six teams then advance to the playoffs, aka the Grey Cup, which happens in late November.
While the CFL isn’t as well-known as the NFL, it still has a considerable following, especially in Canada.
What is the average salary for a CFL player? How does it compare to the NFL? Let’s find out.
Average Salary for Canadian Football League Players in 2023 – $60,000 to $100,000 Per Season
The official salaries for CFL players are not disclosed to the public. Having said that, the salary cap for each team is available. For instance, the league had a $5.3 million salary cap for each of the teams in 2021. If you do the math, this means each player’s salary ranges from $60,000 to $100,000 per season.
If any of the individual teams surpass the cap, they will be penalized after the individual team audits during the off-season.
As of 2023, some of the highest-paid CFL players include Kienan Lafrance ($80,000), William Powell ($82,000), Brendan Gillanders ($83,000), Ka’Deem Carey ($82,000), and James Wilder Jr ($85,000).
Many CFL players also receive signing bonuses for joining a team. For example, Eugene Lewis of the Edmonton Elks, received a $120,000 signing bonus for joining the team earlier this year, after winning the Most Outstanding Player award in the East Division.
Not only that but most, if not all players will also receive workout bonuses, housing money, off-season roster bonuses, as well as travel allowances.
Most players who are just starting out, however, will earn the league’s minimum salary of $41,000 a year, unless they are a high draft pick.
Taking On Off-Season Jobs
Being a CFL player is not a full-time job; the salaries aren’t nearly as high as the NFL either. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that many athletes take on part-time jobs during the off-season months.
For example, Ian Smart, who played for the BC Lions during the early 2000s, worked as a sprint coach in a Florida High School.
After playing for the CFL, many athletes go on to become coaches for high school or college football teams. Many also work as sports broadcasters or turn into scouting to seek out new talent for their former team.
How Do You Become a CFL Player?
The CFL doesn’t hold tryout camps. However, the teams do travel across North America occasionally on scouting trips. If someone is interested in trying out, they may be able to set up a meeting during this period.
It’s also not necessary to play at a Canadian college to get noticed by scouts (the CFL recruits from both American and Canadian colleges). Not only that but candidates don’t have to play at a BCS-eligible school either as many of the teams recruit from the lower tier schools.
You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree either. In fact, many of the current players have joined the teams with only a diploma. If anything, experience on the field is much more important.
Thanks for giving people a little inside. Just remember you’re comparing apples to oranges.
Your article is painfully inaccurate and out of date. So many errors that it is almost impossible to even start to correct. I would suggest you do some research. Any research. Totally inaccurate.
So Peyton Manning will make $42 mill THIS YEAR? That’s pretty good for a guy who RETIRED a year and a half ago…