Mathieu Betts
No. 95     Detroit Lions
Betts with the BC Lions in 2022
Born: (1995-03-22) March 22, 1995 (age 29)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Career information
CFL statusNational
Position(s)Outside linebacker
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight250 lb (110 kg)
CFL Draft2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Drafted byEdmonton Eskimos
Career history
As player
2019Chicago Bears*
20192021Edmonton Eskimos / Elks
20222023BC Lions
2024–presentDetroit Lions
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star2023
CFL West All-Star2023
Career stats

Mathieu Betts (born March 22, 1995) is a professional American football linebacker for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). Betts is the only player in U Sports football history to have won four major individual awards after he won the 2015 Peter Gorman Trophy as the most outstanding rookie and the 2016–2018 J. P. Metras Trophy awards as the most outstanding down lineman.[1] He is a two-time Vanier Cup champion having won in 2016 and 2018.

University career

Betts began his U Sports football career with the Laval Rouge et Or in 2015 where he recorded a nation-leading 12 sacks in eight regular season games played en route to being named the Most Outstanding Rookie.[2] In 2016, he had nine sacks in eight regular season games, second-best in the country, and was named the Most Outstanding Down Lineman at season's end.[3] He also won his first Vanier Cup championship as part of Laval's 52nd Vanier Cup win. He won his second consecutive J. P. Metras Trophy in 2017 and won for the third time in 2018, becoming the first player to ever win the award three times.[1] He finished his fourth year of eligibility in 2018 with another Vanier Cup championship in the 54th Vanier Cup game.

Professional career

In the 2019 CFL Scouting Bureau Rankings for December, Betts was named as the top available prospect in the 2019 CFL Draft.[4] He was one of two U Sports players invited to play in the 2019 East–West Shrine Game.[5] On May 2, he was selected third overall in the 2019 CFL Draft by the Edmonton Eskimos, though at the time he was under contract with the Chicago Bears.[6]

Chicago Bears

After the 2019 NFL Draft on April 27, 2019, Betts signed with the Chicago Bears of the National Football League as an undrafted free agent on a three-year contract.[7] Betts was among the final roster cuts on August 31, 2019.[8]

Edmonton Eskimos / Elks

Betts formally joined the Edmonton Eskimos on September 9, 2019, after being selected by the Eskimos in the first round of the 2019 CFL Draft.[9] In his first game, Betts made a major contribution in making a sack, forcing a fumble against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The following week against the Ottawa Redblacks, Betts had another sack. In total, he played in six games and recorded one defensive tackle, two sacks, and one forced fumble in his rookie season. He did not play in 2020 due to the cancellation of the 2020 CFL season.

In 2021, Betts played in 13 of the 14 regular season games where he had 12 defensive tackles, but did not record a sack. He became a free agent upon the expiry of his contract on February 8, 2022.[10]

BC Lions

On the first day of free agency, on February 8, 2022, Betts signed with the BC Lions.[11] Betts played in all 17 regular season games and contributed with 26 defensive tackles, seven sacks and two tackles on special teams. Following the season, in early January 2023, he had a workout with the Jacksonville Jaguars.[12]

In 2023, Betts had a dominant season where he started in all 18 regular season games and recorded 44 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, 18 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one blocked kick.[13] Notably, on October 20, 2023, in the last game of the regular season, Betts broke the record for most sacks by a National player when he recorded his 18th sack and surpassed Brent Johnson (2005) and Jamaal Westerman (2015) who each had 17 in a single season.[13][14] At the end of season, he was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player and a CFL All-Star.[15] He became a free agent upon the expiry of his contract on February 13, 2024.[16]

Detroit Lions

On February 13, 2024, it was announced that Betts had signed with the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL).[17][18]


  1. ^ a b "Calgary QB Sinagra highlights 2018 football award winners and All-Canadians". November 22, 2018.
  2. ^ "Mathieu Betts 2015 stats". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mathieu Betts 2016 stats". Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  4. ^ Betts tops December edition of Scouting Bureau rankings, Canadian Football League, December 6, 2018, retrieved December 6, 2018
  5. ^ "Betts à la Classique East-West Shrine". November 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Campbell, Dave (May 2, 2019). "Edmonton Eskimos select DL Mathieu Betts in 1st round of 2019 CFL Draft". Global News. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Kryk, John (April 27, 2019). "Chicago Bears sign Montrealer Mathieu Betts after NFL Draft". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Mayer, Larry (August 31, 2019). "Chicago Bears announce 53-man roster". Chicago Bears. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Report: Esks agree to terms with former top prospect Mathieu Betts". Canadian Football League. September 9, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Transactions – Football player trades and signings". Canadian Football League. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  11. ^ "D-line depth: Lions add Betts, Richardson". Canadian Football League. February 8, 2022.
  12. ^ 3Down Staff (2023-01-05). "B.C. Lions' defensive end Mathieu Betts works out for Jacksonville Jaguars". 3DownNation. Retrieved 2023-01-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ a b "Game Notes" (PDF). Canadian Football League. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  14. ^ "THE MOJ: Lions lose the game - and their poise - in 41-16 loss to Calgary". Victoria News. October 21, 2022.
  15. ^ "Mathieu Betts Wins CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award". BC Lions. November 16, 2023.
  16. ^ "Official 2024 Free Agent Tracker". Canadian Football League. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  17. ^ "Lions sign CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Mathieu Betts". 2024-02-13. Retrieved 2024-02-14.
  18. ^ "Transactions". Detroit Lions. Retrieved February 16, 2024.