Highest Paid CFL Player in 2023

Highest Paid CFL Player

The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the highest level of professional Canadian football. It is the third-oldest professional football league in the world, after the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL).

The CFL has nine teams, located in seven different Canadian cities.

The highest paid CFL player in 2023 is Chad Kelly, quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts.

Kelly signed a three-year, $1.865 million contract extension in September 2023, making him the highest-paid player in league history.

In this blog post, we will take a look at Chad Kelly’s career, his salary, and his net worth. We will also discuss why he is the highest paid player in the CFL and what it means for the league as a whole.

Who is the Highest Paid CFL Player in 2023?

Below is the name of the Highest Paid CFL Player

Highest Paid CFL Player

Chad Kelly is the highest paid CFL player in 2023. He signed a three-year, $1.865 million contract extension with the Toronto Argonauts in September 2023.

Who is Chad Kelly?

Chad Kelly is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly. He played college football at Ole Miss and Buffalo before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Kelly was released by the Broncos after one season and spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles before signing with the Argonauts in 2022.

Kelly had a breakout season in 2022, leading the Argonauts to a 12-6 record and a berth in the Grey Cup final. He threw for 4,766 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.

Kelly was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian Player.

Why is Chad Kelly the highest paid player in the CFL?

Chad Kelly is the highest-paid player in the CFL because he is one of the best players in the league.

He is a talented quarterback with a strong arm and good accuracy. Kelly is also a mobile quarterback who can extend plays with his feet.

In addition to his on-field skills, Kelly is also a popular player with fans. He is charismatic and outgoing, and he has a large social media following.

This makes him a valuable asset to the Argonauts and the CFL as a whole.

Top 10 Highest Paid CFL Players in 2023

Highest Paid CFL Player

Below is a list of the Highest Paid CFL Players in 2023

  1. Chad Kelly, Toronto Argonauts: $1.865 million
  2. Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers: $750,000
  3. Bo Levi Mitchell, Calgary Stampeders: $700,000
  4. Mike Reilly, BC Lions: $650,000
  5. Cody Fajardo, Saskatchewan Roughriders: $600,000
  6. Trevor Harris, Montreal Alouettes: $550,000
  7. Jeremiah Masoli, Hamilton Tiger-Cats: $500,000
  8. Brandon Banks, Hamilton Tiger-Cats: $450,000
  9. Derel Walker, Calgary Stampeders: $400,000
  10. William Stanback, Calgary Stampeders: $350,000

Brief Profiles of the Top 10 Highest Paid CFL Players in 2023

1. Chad Kelly, Toronto Argonauts

Quarterback Chad Kelly is the highest-paid player in the CFL. He is a talented quarterback with a strong arm and good accuracy.

Kelly is also a mobile quarterback who can extend plays with his feet.

2. Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Quarterback Zach Collaros is the reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player. He led the Blue Bombers to a Grey Cup championship in 2021.

Collaros is a consistent and reliable quarterback who is known for his accuracy and game management.

3. Bo Levi Mitchell, Calgary Stampeders

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is one of the most successful quarterbacks in CFL history. He has won two Grey Cups and has been named the CFL Most Outstanding Player twice. Mitchell is a dynamic quarterback who is known for his playmaking ability.

4. Mike Reilly, BC Lions

Quarterback Mike Reilly is a veteran quarterback who has played in the CFL for over a decade. He is a versatile quarterback who can be successful both in the passing game and the running game. Reilly is also a leader on the field and in the locker room.

5. Cody Fajardo, Saskatchewan Roughriders

Quarterback Cody Fajardo is a dual-threat quarterback who is known for his ability to run and throw the ball.

He led the Roughriders to a Grey Cup appearance in 2021. Fajardo is a popular player with fans and is considered to be one of the faces of the CFL.

6. Trevor Harris, Montreal Alouettes

Quarterback Trevor Harris is a veteran quarterback who has played for multiple teams in the CFL. He is a consistent and reliable quarterback who is known for his accuracy and game management. Harris is also a leader on the field and in the locker room.

7. Jeremiah Masoli, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is a mobile quarterback who is known for his playmaking ability.

He led the Tiger-Cats to a Grey Cup appearance in 2019. Masoli is a popular player with fans and is considered to be one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the CFL.

8. Brandon Banks, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Wide receiver Brandon Banks is one of the most explosive players in the CFL. He is a deep threat who is also known for his ability to make plays after the catch.

Banks is a two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian Player and is considered to be one of the best wide receivers in CFL history.

9. Derel Walker, Calgary Stampeders

Wide receiver Derel Walker is a veteran receiver who has played in the CFL for over a decade. He is a consistent and reliable receiver who is known for his ability to make big plays in big moments.

Walker is a two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian Player and is considered to be one of the best wide receivers in CFL history.

10. William Stanback, Calgary Stampeders

Running back William Stanback is one of the most powerful running backs in the CFL. He is a downhill runner who is also known for his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Stanback is a two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian Player and is considered to be one of the best running backs in CFL history.

How did Chad Kelly Become the Highest-paid Player in the CFL?

1. Leading the Toronto Argonauts to a Grey Cup victory: In 2022, Kelly stepped in as the starting quarterback for the Argonauts after an injury to McLeod Bethel-Thompson in the Grey Cup. He led the team to a thrilling 24-23 victory, solidifying his position as the team’s starter and demonstrating his potential to be a star player.

2. Strong performance in the 2023 season: In the 2023 season, Kelly has continued to impress, throwing for 2,377 passing yards and 16 touchdowns in nine games. He has shown good accuracy, mobility, and leadership, cementing his status as one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

3. Limited options at the quarterback position: The CFL has traditionally faced challenges in attracting and retaining top quarterbacks. Many talented players choose to pursue opportunities in the NFL, leaving a smaller pool of elite players in the CFL. This limited competition for top quarterbacks helped drive up Kelly’s value.

4. Willingness of the Toronto Argonauts to invest: The Argonauts, under new ownership, showed a commitment to winning and building a championship team. They were willing to invest in Kelly, recognizing his potential and his importance to the team’s success.

5. Market forces: The increasing popularity of the CFL and the growing revenue of the league have contributed to an overall rise in salaries for all players, including quarterbacks. This trend helped create the environment in which Kelly could command such a lucrative contract.

Additional factors:

  • Kelly’s name recognition as the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly likely played a role in his marketability and increased his value to the Argonauts.
  • The inclusion of incentives in his contract, such as bonuses for individual and team performance, further sweetened the deal for Kelly.

In conclusion, Kelly’s combination of talent, performance, timing, and favorable market conditions helped him become the highest-paid player in the CFL.

What factors influence Salaries for Quarterbacks in the CFL?

Several factors influence salaries for quarterbacks in the CFL:

1. Individual performance: Quarterbacks who consistently demonstrate high levels of performance, such as high completion percentages, passing yards, touchdowns, and winning records, are naturally more valuable and command higher salaries.

2. Importance to the team: Quarterbacks are considered the most important position on the field, as they call plays, lead the offense, and make crucial decisions. Their impact on the team’s success is undeniable, making them highly sought-after and deserving of high salaries.

3. Experience and leadership: Experienced quarterbacks who have proven their ability to lead teams to victory are highly valued. They provide stability, mentorship to younger players, and a winning mentality, all of which contribute to their high salaries.

4. Market competition: The limited pool of talented quarterbacks in the CFL creates a competitive market for their services. This drives up their salaries as teams compete to acquire and retain top talent.

5. League economics: The overall financial health of the CFL and its teams influences player salaries. As the league generates more revenue, teams have more resources available to invest in high-caliber players, including quarterbacks.

6. Contract structure: Incentives and bonuses included in a quarterback’s contract can significantly impact their overall earnings. These incentives are often tied to individual performance, team success, or reaching specific milestones.

7. Supply and demand: The availability of talented quarterbacks compared to the demand for their services plays a crucial role in determining their salaries. A shortage of elite quarterbacks can elevate their value and push salaries even higher.

8. Media attention and marketability: Quarterbacks often receive the most media attention and are often the face of their teams. Their marketability can further enhance their value and influence their salary negotiations.

9. Collective bargaining agreements: The league’s collective bargaining agreements between players and owners establish minimum salaries and salary structures, which can influence quarterback salaries indirectly.

10. Individual player negotiations: Ultimately, a quarterback’s salary is determined through individual negotiations between the player and their team. The player’s leverage, negotiating skills, and the team’s willingness to invest all contribute to the final agreement.

These factors, in combination, influence the salaries of quarterbacks in the CFL. Understanding these factors helps explain why these players command such high salaries and are considered the most valuable assets in the league.

How do CFL Salaries Compare to those in the NFL?

CFL vs. NFL Player Salaries: A Comparison

NFL:

  • Average Salary: USD 2.7 million per year (2017)
  • Median Salary: USD 860,000 per year (2023)
  • Minimum Salary: USD 660,000 per year (2023)
  • Top Earners: Over USD 50 million per year (2023)

CFL:

  • Average Salary: $80,000 – CAD 100,000 per year (2021)
  • Minimum Salary: CAD 53,000 per year (2023)
  • Top Earners: CAD 500,000 per year (2023)

Key Differences:

  • Average salaries: NFL players earn significantly more than their CFL counterparts, with an average gap of over $2.6 million.
  • Median salaries: Even the median NFL salary is nearly eight times higher than the average CFL salary.
  • Minimum salaries: NFL players, even on practice squads, earn nearly four times the minimum salary of a CFL player.
  • Top earners: The disparity is even more pronounced at the top end, with the highest-paid NFL players earning over 100 times more than the top-paid CFL players.

Reasons for the Difference:

  • Revenue: The NFL generates significantly more revenue than the CFL, allowing teams to offer higher salaries to players.
  • Market size: The NFL has a much larger fan base and media attention, which translates to higher television deals and merchandise sales, ultimately leading to more money for players.
  • Competition: The NFL attracts the top football talent from around the world, creating a more competitive market and driving up salaries.
  • Player union: The NFL Players Association has been more successful in negotiating higher salaries for its members than the Canadian Football League Players’ Association.

Conclusion on Highest Paid CFL Player

Chad Kelly is the highest-paid player in the CFL because he is one of the best players in the league. He is a talented quarterback with a strong arm and good accuracy.

Kelly is also a mobile quarterback who can extend plays with his feet.

In addition to his on-field skills, Kelly is also a popular player with fans. He is charismatic and outgoing, and he has a large social media following.

This makes him a valuable asset to the Argonauts and the CFL as a whole.

The other players on the list of the top 10 highest-paid CFL players in 2023 are all talented players who have made significant contributions to their teams.

They are all deserving of their high salaries.

FAQs on Highest Paid CFL Player

Why do CFL players make less money than NFL players?

The CFL is a smaller league than the NFL, and it generates less revenue. This means that the CFL cannot afford to pay its players as much money as the NFL.

Who is the highest paid player in CFL history?

Chad Kelly is the highest-paid player in CFL history. He signed a three-year, $1.865 million contract extension in September 2023.

Who are the top-paid players at each position in the CFL?

Quarterback: Chad Kelly
Running back: William Stanback
Wide receiver: Brandon Banks
Defensive lineman: Lorenzo Mauldin
Linebacker: Cameron Judge
Defensive back: Tre’Davious White

What is the average salary for a CFL player?

The average salary for a CFL player is approximately $75,000. However, the top players in the league can make significantly more money.

What is the minimum salary for a CFL player?

The minimum salary for a CFL player is $71,000.

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