CFL Roster Rules

I think it's time for a review of the joke they have become --suspensions, retirements of players who've never played, hangnail injuries, etc. Today, (See CFL TRansactions, June 25) Zac Carlson was added to the Stampeders' roster and today Zac Carlson was transferred to their 1 Game Injured List. Perhaps he sprained his wrist signing the contract.

If a team drafts a player and he goes back to school
that team can keep his playing rights by suspending him.

Where is the joke in that, ottawacat?

Now to the matter of slight or non-existent injuries.

OC, I call the manipulations that go on with that
good management, you call it a joke if you want.

Coaches and management like to get a look at players
who are on the practice roster who seem to be ready

or back up players that have caught their eye somehow

so a regular player who may, or may not have a slight injury
sits out and receives his regular salary on the injured list.

Established veteran players aren't put on the practice roster
because his team would risk him having him claimed.

Today, (See CFL TRansactions, June 25)

Zac Carlson was added to the Stampeders' roster

and today Zac Carlson was transferred to their 1 Game Injured List.

Perhaps he sprained his wrist signing the contract.


Zac is being assessed by the Calgary coaches, did you expect
that they would throw a big boy like that in on special teams.

If a team drafts a player and he goes back to school
that team can keep his playing rights by suspending him.

Where is the joke in that, ottawacat?

I think everyone realizes the teams are merely gaming the system out of rational self-interest. The silliness is that everybody in the league is required to pretend these moves are something other than what they really are.

If the "manipulations" are universally known and practiced by every team, why bother with the charade? Why continue with procedures and terminology that misrepresent what these moves are really about when they are understood by the teams and the league office to be just a shell-game to avoid the roster limits? Obviously the League doesn't care about whether the retirements, suspensions and injuries are legit, since we never hear of teams being penalized for misusing them. So why bother with the extra paperwork of requiring teams to claim these as retirements, injuries or suspensions? Why bother pretending to have the current specific roster limits and cutdown deadlines when there are universal practices, tolerated by the League office, that undermine the limits?

I am sure the league has thought long and hard
about ways to avoid these practices, safetyblitz.

Do you have any suggestion for the league regarding
how to stop teams pretending that a vet is injured

when a team wants to get some game
experience for an untested new player

and it's active and practice roster spots are filled?

As you know, if you "temporarily "cut"
the vet who regularly plays his position

there's a big risk of losing him to another team.

[quote=“ronfromtigertown”]

If a team drafts a player and he goes back to school
that team can keep his playing rights by suspending him.

[quote]

A minor refinement to your point, ronfromtigertown. I think actually, if they draft a player, and he still has college eligibility, they don’t have to suspend him, they just retain his rights if he goes back to school. So he’s cut in the sense that he doesn’t make the team, but the team retains his rights. This happened to Ray Wladichuck last year (in fact, Wladichuk had made the team, but announced to management that he was going back to school right before the season started).

But if they sign an undrafted player who still has college eligibility, bring him to camp and he doesn’t make the team, they can’t cut him and retain his rights while he plays his final year of college eligibility, they have to suspend him in order to retain his rights. This is what happened with Cody Husband. This is what I took from some recent articles in the Spec.

As far as using the injured list to hide players, yep, it happens. Do you think that it’s a coincidence that Jason Boltus gets hurt on the last day of training camp this year, just like he did last year?

red24

They have to have some rules, bendable or otherwise. Otherwise it just opens things up for even more roster games. It's like the speed limit - they keep it at 100kph though many people drive above 120... but if it were raised to 120kph then 140+ would be normal.

Besides, who is this really hurting? Why worry so much about it? In the end, it's about protecting and making the most of your talent, and if these small transgressions allow clubs to field better teams, then as a fan I'm all for the league overlooking a few things.

ronfromtigertown:
Regarding your feelings about my use of the word "joke," ....... Long before I saw your comments, safeyblitz wrote this, which explains very well (better than I might have) what my response to you would have been.

I said, is not my idea of a joke to suspend a draft choice
to keep his rights if he says he is going back to school,

quite the contrary, it is a smart managerial decision

I am curious about this question, ottawacat?

Do you have any suggestion for the league regarding how to stop teams pretending that a vet is injured

when a team wants to get some game
experience for an untested new player

and it's active and practice roster spots are filled?


Do you have an answer for it yet?

Random independent doctor exams. Non injured players immediately declared UFA and the offending team has their roster limit reduced by one. I know I wouldn't take a chance on those consequences if I was a GM

Obie had a draft pick in camp 2 years ago who was quite a good CIS running back

We wanted him to play full back and he was told to bulk up to full back weight.

Apparently, he wasn't too pleased when he was asked to do that.

We released him. He went back to school and
after the CIS season the Alouettes signed him.

Apparently, someone at CFL headquarters failed
to file some paperwork regarding his status

Obie didn't do anything about it
so that one slipped through the cracks.

but he learned to put such players
on suspension, in case it happens again.

Do you remember that situation, red24?

Do you know who that guy was?

I bet he isn't in the CFL now
but I could be wrong.

As far as using the injured list to hide players, yep, it happens.

Do you think that it's a coincidence that Jason Boltus gets hurt
on the last day of training camp this year, just like he did last year?

red24

Michael Giffin (Queens). Montreal scooped him up. And he's still on their roster; ironically, he's a fullback. :expressionless:

We did the same thing to BC with Morencie though, after he went back to University of Windsor. So what goes around comes around I suppose. 8)

Is it that large of a problem though, that it would require such a drastic penalty?

The CFLPA would probably have an issue with any kind of roster reduction anyway, temporary or otherwise. One less job for the players. So if you want to get tough, loss of a draft pick might be a better way to go.

You are correct its not that serious a problem but the question was put forward on how do you stop the cheating. Its simple, treat it seriously and get tough with those teams that cheat. I'm not sure draft picks mean that much to be honest.

I said, is not my idea of a joke to suspend a draft choice
to keep his rights if he says he is going back to school,

quite the contrary, it is a smart managerial decision

I am curious about this question, ottawacat?

Do you have any suggestion for the league regarding
how to stop teams pretending that a vet is injured

when a team wants to get some game
experience for an untested new player

and it's active and practice roster spots are filled?
[/quote]
Do you have an answer for it yet?
[/quote]
It looks there are two questions here directed my way:

On the first .... I agree, that in the situation of draft picks returning to college ball after a CFL training camp, that this appears to be the only way to retain their rights. So, yes, under the rules that exist it is "smart management." My issue is with the other players suspended, particularly by Montreal. Read the CFL Transactions for just the month of June. You'll find several.

On the second question ..... yes, I do have an answer. I presented to start this exchange -- "a review of the roster rules." I might add, not by us fans, but by the league and its GMs who operate daily by those rules and the loopholes within.

Red's second paragraph is the key point. If the player is SIGNED and later is RELEASED he's a free agent returning to college, as was the case with Giffen. Wladichuk chose himself to go back to school. He wasn't released, so the Cats rightfully and smartly suspended him. Hinds, last year was drafted, but not signed, so he Cats' retained his rights. Fournier, this year for instance, was signed and later released. So, he's a free agent. If he's still eligible, he may go back to Laval. But, he could be, and might very well be, picked up by another CFL team, now or at the end of the college season as Montreal did with Giffen. If the Cats were interested in keeping the rights to someone like Fournier, he'd have to agree to being suspended, rather than released. But, there's no advantage in that for him as, if he had his choice, he'd probably rather play for the Als if he got the opportunity or some other team where the competition wasn't so stiff at his position. I expect there may be some under the table arrangements, in some cases, to get players to agree to suspension, unless it's the player's preference because it's the team that he most wants to try again with the following year (i.e. because it's closest to him home town)

We asked a Ticats front office employee about training camp contracts.

All players sign a temporary contract to cover insurance liability.

When they make the team they sign a regular season contract.

So you are saying Wladichuk signed a regular season contract

and then went back to school so he had to be suspended
in order for the Tiger Cats to retain his rights, ottawacat,

and Mike Giffen was released during or after Training Camp

and the Tiger Cats lost his rights because
he hadn't signed a regular season contract.

I read that the problem was that some paperwork
regarding Mike Giffen was amiss at CFL headquarters.

I am still not sure.

Ron:
In response to your above post .... I'm not aware of a "Training Camp" Contract. I don't think (but I've been wrong before) that there is such a thing. If a player is registered in the CFL Transactions List, as ADDED, he's been signed to a CFL contract. A suspension is intended for a situation such as a player deciding "he needs to go home to look after family problems," or a player not showing up for practice or games for whatever reason, etc. The PLAYER has made the decision not to show up for work and contravene the terms of his contract. If the team releases him over that, he's a free agent. The suspension keeps him from playing elsewhere, at least in the CFL. Can't think of his name at the moment, but Montreal's 3rd string QB, now 2nd string due to McPherson's injury, was such a case where he should have been suspended. He said something like "his head wasn't into it and he wanted to go home" and the Cats released him. He was in Montreal, just days later. I believe Giffen was signed before camp, was cut, and was a free agent who decided to return to Queen's. At the end of the Queen' season, he was signed by the Als.

Thinking further about the "Training Camp" Contract. Such a thing MIGHT exist for players who are still college eligible, to have them participate in a training camp as a "non-counter." But, if there was such a thing and a player, under such a contract, MADE the team .... then he'd be able to somewhat "hold them up" for a better deal than he'd have been signed to as a rookie candidate.

Chris Leak is the QB who went to Montreal
after being here for 2 day at Training Camp

He didn't even throw a pass in any drills.

I'm not aware of a "Training Camp" Contract. I don't think
(but I've been wrong before) that there is such a thing.

The man who told us about them has been around the CFL
for 20 years, I am sure he wasn't just joshing us, ottawacat.

Come to think of it,

last year`s players and players picked up
in the off season in trades or as free agents

sign their regular season contracts
when they come back to the City

just before Training Camp, ottawacat.

He must have meant that all the rookie players
have to have a signed contract of some kind,

in other words a training camp contract,

to participate at training camp so that
they are insured if they get injured.

P.S.

When rookies sign their first regular season contracts
they are likely to be paid the minimum salary level

There`s not much chance they can bargain for more.

Thanks for plugging the "Leak" in my memory. Ron,it would appear thay one of us and our CFL sources is wrong on this issue. Your comments (on my comments) prompted me today to contact a former CFL GM & Player Personnel Dir. who confirms that ALL players who attend a training camp have signed a REGULAR CFL contract which lays out their deal, as it will be, conditional on them making the club. He said there is no other type of contract, other than the practice squad agreement. When any player is released, even if he's the club's #1 Draft Pick with remaining college eligibility, he is a free agent and can agree to join another team, at any time, as Mike Giffen did after being cut by the Cats at the end of the '08 training camp. He went back to Queen's for their '08 season and was signed by the Als before the end of that CFL season.

On the overall topic of the roster rules, I believe that the steps taken by the league in recent years which give clubs a much better opportunity to keep an expanded number of players -- the roster limit was increased from 37 to 39, then to 42, and now 46 with a 4-man reserve list which doesn't have to be declared until an hour before a game, the practice squad limits were expanded to 7 with an increase to 12 for a month following the NFL cut deadline, the injury list was divided to 1 & 9 games for more flexibility to deal with hard to predict healing times, and the Salary Management System -- are enough. The growing number of players around each team, IMHO, has to stop somewhere (for costs and equality) and that can only happen with some sort of agreed-to enforcement related to the use of the injured, suspended and retired lists. It's sad to see your team lose a potential good future player because he can't be fit into the roster but that player can help a weaker team and make the league better. Of course, even if these rules were better controlled, there'd still be (I'm sure) some under-the-table arrangements going on to keep extra players handy. Those practices will likely always be around and employed by some teams much more than others fro ever.