American Football Database
Adam Bighill
No. 4     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-10-16) October 16, 1988 (age 33)
Place of birth: Montesano, Washington
Career information
College: Central Washington
Undrafted in 2011
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* BC Lions (2011)
Roster status: Active
CFL status: International
Career highlights and awards
* 99th Grey Cup champion
Tackles     1
Sacks     0
Tackles     594
Sacks     37
Interceptions     10
Forced Fumbles     12
Stats at

Adam Bighill (born October 16, 1988) is a gridiron football linebacker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Bighill made his professional debut with the BC Lions in 2011. He played college football for the Central Washington Wildcats. He also spent time with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL).

Professional career

BC Lions

After going undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, Bighill signed as a free agent with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) on May 31, 2011.[1] Bighill had an impressive rookie season, playing an increased role as the season progressed. He played in 12 games, including the final seven regular season games, and the West Final and Grey Cup games. He led the club, and was ranked fourth overall in the CFL, with 22 special team tackles.[2]

Bighill began the 2012 CFL season by replacing Solomon Elimimian at middle linebacker for the Lions, after Elimimian was signed by the Minnesota Vikings.[3] After assuming the starting linebacker role, Bighill went on to amass 104 tackles (2nd most in the CFL) and 4 interceptions. Elimimian returned to the Lions midway through the season, but Bighill retained all of the playing time. He was named both a CFL West All-Star and a CFL All-Star for the 2012 season.

Bighill and Elimimian both returned to the Lions linebacker core for the 2013 CFL season. Bighill suffered a sprained ankle and missed Week 3 and 4.[4] He played in the 16 other regular season games, and the Lions' lone playoff game. Bighill put together a strong 2013 season, accumulating 92 tackles, 12 special teams tackles, 9 sacks, 1 interception and 3 fumble recoveries (one of which he returned for a touchdown; his first of his career). In 2014, Bighill played in all but one of the 18 regular season games as well as one playoff game. He totalled 77 tackles, 12 special teams tackles, 6 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery. Following the season, Bighill's linebacker teammate, Solomon Elimimian, was named the leagues MOP, and both of them signed 3-year contract extensions on the same day.[5]

In Bighill's fifth season with the Lions he played in all but one game of the regular season, contributing a league leading 117 tackles. Following the season, Bighill was named the CFL's Top Defensive Player.[6] Bighill continued his dominant play in the 2016 season finishing 3rd in the league in tackles and earning his fourth CFL All-Star award in the past five seasons. On December 9, 2016, the BC Lions granted Bighill a release as per the agreements in his contract which allows him to pursue an NFL contract up until January 27, 2017. If he is unable to sign an NFL contract by that date he will be back under contract with the BC Lions through the 2018 CFL season.[7] Through six CFL seasons Bighill amassed 489 defensive tackles, 69 special teams tackles, 33 sacks, 8 interceptions, 8 forced fumbles and 1 defensive touchdown.

Bighill had a workout with the New Orleans Saints on December 13, 2016.[8]

New Orleans Saints

Bighill signed a future/reserve contract with the New Orleans Saints on January 4, 2017.[9][10] Bighill drew strongly positive attention for his performance during the Saints training camp and preseason. He was waived on September 2, 2017, and was signed to the Saints' practice squad the next day.[11][12] He was promoted to the active roster on September 11, 2017.[13] He was released the following day,[14] and re-signed to the practice squad on September 14, 2017.[15] He was promoted back to the active roster on October 12, 2017.[16] He was waived again on October 17, 2017, and re-signed to the practice squad.[17] He was promoted back to the active roster on November 18, 2017.[18] He was waived two days later and re-signed to the practice squad. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Saints on January 16, 2018 [19]

On May 14, 2018, Bighill was waived by the Saints.[20]

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

On May 19, 2018, Bighill signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.[21] Bighill finished the 2018 season as the Blue Bomber's nominee for Most Outstanding Player,[22] was named to the CFL All-Star team,[23] and was ultimately named the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player.[24][25] The Blue Bombers signed Bighill to a 3 year $750,000 contract extension in January 2019, making him the highest paid defensive player in the CFL.[26]


Year Team Games Tackles ST Sacks Int TD FF
2011 BC 12 7 21 0 0 0 0
2012 BC 18 97 16 9 4 0 2
2013 BC 16 88 12 9 1 1 4
2014 BC 17 75 12 6 1 0 2
2015 BC 18 114 7 4 1 0 0
2016 BC 18 108 1 5 1 0 0
2018 WPG 18 105 1 4 2 1 4
CFL totals 117 594 70 37 10 2 12

Personal life

Bighill was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. He is on the board of Toronto-based charity Making Faces, a charity dedicated to helping people cope with facial differences.[27]


  1. "Roster - B.C. Lions". BC Lions. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30.
  2. "Special Teams Tackles 2011 - Statistics - - Official Site of the Canadian Football League".
  3. "Ready for the real deal". BC Lions.
  4. Sprained ankle, 2013 CFL season[dead link]
  5. "Lions extend LBs Elimimian, Bighill".
  6. "Adam Bighill named CFL's top defensive player |". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-27.
  7. "Lions grant Bighill release to pursue opportunities down south". 2016-12-09.
  8., NICK UNDERHILL. "Saints continue to mine CFL ranks, sign linebacker, defensive back".
  9. "Saints sign CFL's Bighill". TSN. January 4, 2017.
  10. Dabe, Christopher (January 4, 2017). "New Orleans Saints sign 2 defensive players from CFL".
  11. "New Orleans Saints make 37 roster moves". September 2, 2017.
  12. "New Orleans Saints announce roster moves". September 5, 2017.
  13. DeShazier, John (September 11, 2017). "John DeShazier: Linebacker Adam Bighill to make NFL debut vs. Vikings".
  14. Katzenstein (September 12, 2017). "Saints re-sign Bryce Harris, cut Adam Bighill, add Daniel Lasco to practice squad".
  15. "Saints re-sign linebacker Adam Bighill to practice squad: source".
  16. Erickson, Joel A. (October 12, 2017). "Saints promote Adam Bighill to 53-man roster".
  17. Williams, Charean (October 17, 2017). "Saints promote Daniel Lasco, cut Adam Bighill, Bryce Harris".
  18. "Saints Promote LB Adam Bighill, Waive OT Bryce Harris". November 18, 2017.
  19. Teope, Herbie (January 16, 2018). "Saints sign 10 players, including De'Vante Harris, to reserve/future contracts".
  20. "New Orleans Saints announce post-rookie minicamp roster moves". May 14, 2018.
  21. "Bombers sign four-time CFL All-Star linebacker Adam Bighill". May 19, 2018.
  22. "CFL announces 2018 team award winners". 31 October 2018.
  23. "Star Power: 2018 CFL Divisional All-Stars announced". 7 November 2018.
  24. "Adam Bighill named Most Outstanding Defensive Player -" (in en-US). 2018-11-22.
  25. "Stars aligned: 2018 CFL All-Stars unveiled". Canadian Football League. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  26. Dunk, Justin. "Bombers make Adam Bighill the highest paid defensive player in the CFL - 3DownNation".
  27. "All-star CFL linebacker Adam Bighill helps others with facial differences". November 15, 2015.

External links

Template:CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award