The ink has dried on the contracts for the top two picks in the 2015 Canadian Football League Draft.
University of Connecticut product and offensive lineman Alex Mateas, chosen No. 1 overall by his hometown Ottawa Redblacks, has agreed to a three-year pact with a CFL rookie–record $20,000 signing bonus, sources confirmed to Sportsnet. Mateas will earn over $80,000 in base salary and could make more than $100,000 should he start all 18 games this season.
Winnipeg grabbed Calgary Dinos o-lineman Sukh Chungh with the second pick in the draft. He also netted $20,000 for officially putting pen to paper on a two-year deal, according to multiple people with knowledge of the agreement. And Chungh is in the same range as Mateas in terms of how much he will and could earn to start his CFL career.
Each Mateas and Chungh surpassed the $15,000 signing bonus 2014 No. 2 pick and current Blue Bombers offensive lineman Matthias Goosen received, a figure first reported by Sportsnet’s Arash Madani.
Rookie bonuses and salaries have been trending upwards in recent years for two main reasons: premiums placed on young Canadian talent and a rising salary cap. High-end first-year players are seeing more playing time early in their careers. And in accordance with guidelines set out in the new five-year collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap has jumped from $4.4 million in 2013 to $5,050,000 for this coming year.