In the NFL today, Pro Bowlers Brandon Browner and Cameron Wake both had to find success in the CFL before starring in the NFL. Browner played with the Calgary Stampeders for four seasons before signing a three-year deal with the Seahawks. He made the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Wake played for the BC Lions for two years before signing a four-year deal with the Dolphins. Wake was one of the best bargains in the league for three seasons before signing an extension worth $49 million in May of 2012. Wake is a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro.
The Bears pulled head coach Marc Trestman out of the CFL on Wednesday when they named him as Lovie Smith‘s replacement as head coach. Trestman coached for five years with the Montreal Alouettes, where he won two Grey Cup championships.
The NFL has had success pulling coaches and players from the CFL dating back to the 1970s, though. For example, Marv Levy and Joe Theismann started their careers north of the border. Levy led the Bills to four-straight Super Bowls and Theismann won Super Bowl XVII with the Washington Redskins.
Levy and Theismann are far from the only success stories that have come out of the CFL, or headed in after a career with the NFL.