CFL looking into all 2007 rookie contracts

CFLPA looking into all rookie deals from 2007, Cam Wake included
Exclusive to CKNW
Jim Mullin

CKNW has learned that the CFL Players Association has been conducting an exhaustive interview process with every player that signed as a rookie in the last year.

Some CFL teams may have been contravening the collective bargaining agreement by not offering new players the option of a one year deal plus an option.

The league could be in a whole lot of trouble if every rookie who signed a multi year deal was granted an arbitrator's ruling to free them from their contracts, and become free agents.

It would be contract chaos in the CFL.

This brings us to the situation surrounding the CFL’s most outstanding rookie and defensive player of the year Cam Wake of the BC Lions.

CKNW has also learned that Wake could possibly walk away from his deal if he went to arbitration and won.

However, any move by the Wake camp won't happen until the CFLPA's legal counsel completes its interviews and comes to its own conclusions.

One of Wake's agents, Jon Elnitski says the wheels were set into motion after he had a discussion with the players association.

Elnitski says that wake is still preparing to remain in camp, and is just one of many players from last year questioned in the union investigation.

Out of all the rookies who signed in the CFL last year, Wake has attracted the most attention from NFL teams.

I don't understand this know what they say about someone who represents himself.

Having said that it explains why rookies have been signing more then 1+1...It never made sense to me. I figured teams were enticing players with small to decent signing bonus.

I was always under the impression that the 1+1 was a minimum and not a standard rookie contract.
If a team wants to offer more and the player accepts it, where is the problem?

I don't know looks like a player could argue that he was forced into signing a longer contract.

Think of it. The guy is on a neg list or a draft pick. He has two choices:

1- Take what the team offers
2- Stay home

Having said that I would think a player would have to demonstrate that he was "forced" into signing a longer deal. Also the player has the option of complaining to the CFLPA at the time of the offer. A season later?

Looks to me like a good old yankee lawyer who thinks Canada's courts are as loose as the US


I dont see how anyone can argue being forced to sign a contract.

Their contract is no different from any job offer, This is what we offer, take it or leave it

You can't do that RO. For a guy who works in a union shop your judgement is not very balanced

As management, I'm not unionized.
The fact remains that it is exactly how it works, You apply for a job, it pays X amount, you take it or leave it.

Even the collective agreement is the same, the company offers so many years and the members decide to take it or not. I don't see how this is any different

Who's running this league? CFLPA? :roll: :roll: :roll:

How sleazy! :roll:

Lets see, Fines are capped, players DON'T get suspended because of the CFLPA. :roll:

Contracts mean nothing. :roll:

Okay Mr. Cohon, time to step up to the plate. Time to take on this sleazeball Union. Time to start running this league properly.

Hmmmm, heres a loaded question for the fans and posters. Would you support a lockout by the league to get this out of control Players Association in Line?

thing is, if the teams say they never said no to 1+1, how will the players prove otherwise.

then again, if they get the same arbitrator as Jiminez, they wont have to prove anything, he will just take their word on it.

I'm curious about that one too.

RO Question for you? According to what you say if a team
has a sure thing on their neg list and they offer him a five year contract at minimum wage according to your logic am I to understand that the player has to accept it or can't play in this league ?

Player can't pick his team
Player can't pick term of the contract
Player can't negotiate his wages


I don't support a lockout. Management has a contract with the union that they signed so everyone must be happy with it. Or they can wait till it expires.

Teams are all making record profits
They have wage controls
They have neg lists
They don't have to pay for drug testing
They pay minimum benefits and pensions

Trust me on this teams don't want a lockout

There is no such thing as a sure thing in the CFL. At least not where rookies are concerned. Players like Wake are few and far between.

Contracts can be for any length regardless of what the standard is unless 1+1 is stipulated in the agreement between the CFL and the CFLPA.

Pretty sad that a contract means nothing. I also don't like the lack of a guaranteed contract in the CFL but am not sure how they can improve on that.

What I recall happening in Winnipeg last year was a discussion about the fact that the last year HAS to be an option year regardless of the length. Maybe some teams were trying to sign two year deals without the option instead of two year deals in which the second year is an option year and perhaps that is what is being investigated. Just a thought.

Completely agree, Sporty. This has become so ridiculous. Is this even a professional league anymore?

First year should be guarranteed.

Window for release should be 30 days after the grey cup. So players can plan a little. Its unfair for teams to hold guys as insurance policies while they look to make changes.

Should be an escalator for rookie contracts. so if the team wants to offer 1 year it could be 55k, two years would be 60k per and three years maybe 70k per. Then players could weight wages vs term.

But really players need to invest themselves more in their union. Part of the problem might be that a lot of players are migrants.

How is that different from any other sport? Its the same in Baseball, hockey and the NFL.

Isnt there even a clause in the NHL that a player cannot be a free agent untill the reach a certain age?

I know the Lions don’t even offer 1 + 1 contracts, as Wally believes that new players coming to the CFL should play 2 years before they flee for NFL tryouts, not 1 year. What good is it signing a player for 1 season?

This whole “try the NFL in your option year” gains the CFL nothing. If the NFL gave CFL teams some cash if they signed an option yr player, that’s another thing. But the CFL receives nothing, so this NFL option yr window should be scrapped.

Another example of the inmates running the asylum. :roll:

My lockout suggestion wasn't until the current contract with the CFLPA expires. I don't expect Ed Molstad to say

" Sure Mark, its a bad idea, we'll let you have that clause back" :roll: :roll: :roll:

I read in one of the articles, (Sorry, too lazy to go look again), that some one was quoted as saying that the NFLPA could only dream about the CFLPA arbitration system.

What does that tell you?

I think you'd better re-examine your assessment of the PA which is only partially like a labor union. In this a case a greedy player, a meddlesome player agent, and some greasy lawyers are likely responsible for this mess. As long as I'm at the grill, 'Agent on a stick' anyone?


It sounds like the CBA allows the teams to make an offer for as long a term as they like, but they must ALSO offer a 1+1 deal. If teams didn't do this, and it can be proven, then they breached the CBA, potentially voiding the contract with the player.

I don't see how the Union is the villain in this....

Nothing, except the writer's an idiot. The NFLPA's members have a salary cap of something south of $97,000,000. AND, unless both sides agree after this year, there will be NO cap in (I think) 2010.

So I'm sure no one at the NFLPA is feverishly contacting Stu Laird for speaking engagements.