New Orleans Breakers select Canadian Liam Dobson in USFL Draft

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have to continue to wait for Canadian offensive lineman Liam Dobson. The six-foot-three, 330-pound offensive lineman was selected in the 23rd round of the USFL Draft on Wednesday by the New Orleans Breakers.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have to continue to wait for Canadian offensive lineman Liam Dobson.

The six-foot-three, 330-pound offensive lineman was selected in the 23rd round of the USFL Draft on Wednesday by the New Orleans Breakers. What is important for Winnipeg is that Dobson first had to sign a contract with the American League in order to be drafted.

Dobson’s deal is for one year, but also contains a team option for 2023. The Bombers selected Dobson in the first round, No. 3 overall, of the 2021 CFL Draft after he chose to transfer from Maine to Texas State University.

The Bobcats finished 3-5 in the Sun Belt Conference last season and 4-8 overall.

Dobson started all 12 games at two different positions for Texas State. He opened the season at right tackle, then moved to left guard before returning to right tackle for the final two games.

Dobson was named an honorable mention All-Sun Belt conference pick.

In 2019, Dobson was Maine’s top-ranked tackle and voted their top offensive lineman after starting all 12 games and averaging 12 knockdowns per contest. On July 17, 2020, the Colonial Athletic Association announced that it would not be playing fall sports _ including soccer _ due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead held a spring conference schedule in 2021.

By signing and being drafted by a USFL team, Dobson will have to spend the next two seasons with the league, unless he is released. Dobson could also leave the USFL if he is signed by an NFL team, as USFL contracts allow players to sign deals with the NFL.

The eight USFL teams will each play 10 games. The schedule is set to begin April 16 and end July 3, well before the start of NFL training camps.

Dobson certainly won’t get rich playing in the USFL, where players will earn around US$50,000. Ironically, Dobson was able to earn more in Winnipeg, where he could have earned up to $80,000, or US$62,804, plus playoff bonuses.

As the third overall pick, Dobson could have negotiated a deal that included a base salary of $65,000, a housing allowance of $7,500 and a playing time bonus of $7,500.

But Dobson should have played many more games — Canadian teams will have an 18-game regular season in 2022 — and as a CFL rookie, should sign a three-year contract (two plus one option). Also, if he were injured playing football in Canada, Dobson would not be covered by workers’ compensation.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 23, 2022.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

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