December 19, 2016

Lions extend nationals Benson, Kankolongo

VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have solidified their Canadian depth for the 2017 season, agreeing to contract extensions with Mike Benson and Nehemie Kankolongo, the team announced Monday.

Benson, the long-snapper, is signed up through the 2017 season while another special teams ace in Kankolongo has agreed to a two-year deal.

Both were due to become free agents on Feb. 14.

“Mike has given us everything you can ask for as our long-snapper over the past few years and it’s good to have him returning next season,” said GM and Head Coach Wally Buono. “Often times we don’t appreciate the consistency needed to perform that duty on special teams, but much of our success in that area starts with him.”

» FA17: Stay up to date with the Free Agent Tracker
» Johnson extends stay with Lions
» Lions ahead of schedule in 2017 off-season

Signing up long snapper Mike Benson addresses an important need for the Lions (

Since joining the Lions at the midpoint of the 2014 season, the Winnipeg native has not missed a single regular season start over 45 games and four postseason tilts. He’s recorded 12 special teams tackles in that stretch.

Kankolongo, a Coquitlam product and reserve linebacker, was added to the club’s roster in July and appeared in 13 regular season games along with two more in the post-season, notching six tackles.