CFL to NFL - More To The Journey

Well at work today there was a guy who looked familiar. I thought he looked like somebody in the UFC. Well he was not a fighter, but I was not wrong. It turned out he was not only a fan but is a regular in the entourage for a very famous fighter and close enough that he gets those choice seats up near the octagon whenever he fights in Las Vegas.

More than likely I had seen him on TV amongst the fans when watching many replays.

And then it gets better. He stated he had also played football, and then after he talked about his time in the NFL I came to find out he had played for BC for Wally Buono earlier this millennium. His time in the NFL went through two teams for which he made the grade on the field but they cut him due to a failed medical.

And then he got to talking about the business of the NFL and I talked about following all the players from the CFL or Canada chasing the dream but how so many come up short even as tremendous athletes and solid players.

Well there is more of a business to the NFL than I had realized!

Agents get a certain percentage of a players contract plus a very hefty percentage of endorsements.

But here’s the real gem I did not know - the NFL pension.

Dontrelle Inman would come to mind as one recent example in these regards as would Cameron Wake and a few others.

A player who plays 4 NFL seasons, and at least 4 games in each season, gets his NFL pension like when 15 years out of the league. The amount is close to that of even veteran players and a substantial sum per year.

Many of these players are not chasing merely the short-term gain but have an eye on that prize even if they don’t play much.

But, NFL owners know this too as do General Managers, and this is why even those who are trained and better after 3 seasons are cut and teams bring in even a less polished undrafted rookie free agent!

The reality of the NFL pension sure explains a whole of these guys who linger around, and don’t return or go to the CFL, even with marginal playing time or much time off after being cut in the NFL.

Those details regarding pension vesting after four years have been widely publicized and are well known. Moreover third and fourth year players must under the collective bargaining agreement be paid far more than rookies:

That’s why so many really good two and three year “veterans” become available to the CFL. And each and every one of them is aggrieved because he knows he was better than many of the players kept. They all know they were simply “salary dumps” with the pensions to which they would have become entitled being the overriding factor.


Yes I had heard about the 4 years, but I don’t agree the rest such as the vesting schedule with number of games and timeframe are widely known. Maybe you and a few knew, but these details are seldom in any sports media reporting I ever read and that’s a whole lot. And these are only part of the details.

And yes on the latter part many are more aware and we have covered examples in the thread about “returning players.”

For sure they are aggrieved understandably. I bet it makes them hungrier too.

The former player I met also discussed how endorsement deals really work and why Baker Mayfield, akin to Mark Sanchez of a decade ago but even more, has gotten them without even having earned anything near his hyped status.

He’s a mediocre QB in one’s dreams.

Many other young QBs have played better, but there he is with those lavish endorsements.

Oh you bet they are! When they come to the CFL, they want to demonstrate to any and all observers that the reason they were let go by the NFL is because they weren’t given a proper look/fair shake.