Interesting article on the trend of CFL players to the NFL.

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this is no trend, its been happening for years if not decades

when did it not happen?

It is true that it has always happened. However when it was happening in the not too distant past of the 70's and early 80's where the salaries where not as monumental of a difference so movement was not as great as it is now.
In fact in the period post the AFL/NFL Merger to the start of the USFL, when free agency was in its infancy and not nearly as open as now, the only other option players had to the NFL was the CFL. A few players were able to actually get more money in the CFL than the NFL at the time. Either top college players or some NFL players.
The USFL did not last very long but it changed free agency and placed a boom in NFL Salaries.
The NFL did not want to lose any of the best players to another league.
So better marketing boosted the NFL to the #1 pro sport and along with that came big TV and Sponsor money to pay the players.

A good article and the reality of the pro football landscape in North America.
As i mentioned above there was a time not too long ago that the slaries were not that much different.
After the AFL merger up to the start of the USFL the CFL was the only other option to the NFL.
After the USFL free agency and the salaries began to change for the better for NFL players.
Then in the 90's and into the late 2000's Other pro leagues arose which became into direct competition for import players to the CFL.
First the WLAF/NFLE as an NFL owned and run league for the players who were borderline.
The CFL also added their own competition for players with the short live US expansion.
The Arena League was around right after the USLF went under but hit a height of popularity until Post Kurt Warner affec, decent pay, a proven route to the NFL, and a chance to stay in the states for Imports until it went under in the late 2000's.
Now by far the CFL is THE best option to the NFL. So if a player is younger mid 20's and was overlooked by the NFL they will find him in the CFL now.

The CFL doesn't want to get pigeon-holed as a 2nd-tier or feeder league to the NFL. Traditionally it was NHL in the winter/spring and CFL in the summer/fall. The CFL and Grey Cup were always No. 1. To be satisfied the CFL is a feeder league or 2nd-best will not attract new fans to the sport.

The CFL has always had 2-year minimum contracts for a very good reason. Allowing 1-year deals with the new CBA has opened up the NFL Option year...every year, with no compensation coming to the CFL clubs who've developed these players.

The CFL is a different game which requires a different type of athlete compared to the NFL, in many positions. I'll put CFL starters up against NFL starters any day...playing Canadian football. Many NFL players would be run ragged trying to cover the speedy CFL'ers for four quarters (and hopefully they'll try to "fair catch" punts :wink: )

Thank god for the CFL MLB isn't going to be expanding into Canada except for the very, very maybe city of Montreal but with the Blue Jays even having a tough time breaking even and losing money for years as we know, I doubt even Montreal will happen.

I'm not sure if the CFL should go out and make a splash signing aka "personal services", that's what TFC is doing to keep it's soccer base happy knowing that soccer fans understand the MLS isn't "major". :? We now know the differences in rules (did I say go to 4 downs CFL and asap, no, well won't go there but have recently :wink: ) and having the ability to sign smaller quicker players that the NFL passes up just isn't going to cut it for a market like Toronto. No one will dispute that I'm sure. A Toronto team needs to have the ability to sign a marquee player to make the CFL work there, IMHO.

The unknown though is having an owner like MLSE for the CFL in Toronto. That could be HUGE as well, let's wait and see... MLSE might be what the CFL needs to kick-start the league in Toronto. Ricky Ray and winning the 100th and 3 downs and all of that and all the history of the Argos didn't do the trick, that's for sure.

I think that one thing that is overlooked is that it is a two way street is the number of players that are coming from the NFL to the CFL each year as well.
Same as CFL players who basically have played all of their first 2-4 season's in the CFL signing as free agents with an NFL team. The same is happening with players spending 2-4 seasons in the NFL are coming to the CFL and some are replacing the stars that have left.
The NFL basically replaced NFLE with a strong emphasis on NFL Practice roster spots. That is 320 Practice roster jobs now which is focused a the borderline 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year players. Which are taking PR jobs ahead of the CFL coming out of school.
As well players who are borderline roster or a combo of both roster and PR players run out of PR eligibility. Hitting a higher pay scale as a 4th year player or running out of PR eligibility are in there mid 20's prime but the NFL rosters need to make room for in coming classes of highly rated rookies as well as low round or rookie Free agent or CFL free agents.

The life span of a player in the NFL is very short only a very small percentage get past the 3 or so year avg.
What has most uptite are seeing more Canadian National Players getting NFL chances now.
As the NFL is now signing more Canadian Players. First those in the NCAA,then some project CIS players, and now CFL Nationals after 2-3 CFL seasons. They are no different than the import players whose NFL life span is very short for most. Although some are making it longer term in the NFL you are begging to see a lot of those Canadian Players exhausting their NFL options and moving to the CFL.

There are some other trends that are starting to happen as well. Not every CFL free agent signing an NFL futures contract makes it that year and return to the CFL mid season.
Another is the John Chick and now Justin Hickman who do spend 3 seasons in the NFL in some form are now returning to the CFL with still some very good years left.
So we see Muamba leave for the NFL but Cory Greenwood 3rd overall pick in the 2010 draft has exhausted his avg 3 seasons with the NFL Chiefs and is now with the Argo's.
Heenan and Butler have left but Tyler Holmes in Toronto and Blake is now with the Als

It's kind of a good news bad news thing. It's great for the players that they can leave the CFL and be starters in the NFL but not great news for CFL fans and their teams that are losing great players. Maybe the CFL needs to look at lifting the salary cap for their marquee players and maybe reducing the National to International ratio. They seem to be overpaying some of the Nationals and that effects the salary cap.

The "marquee player" salary exemption that they had made joke out of the CFL and just about put it out of business. If you start doing "marquee player" pay BS you might as well just remove the cap all together again.

and maybe reducing the National to International ratio.
Nope, they already put a change in the latest CBA which loosens the restrictions as to who can be classified as a national. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson was classified as an International when he tried out with the Stamps. Under todays CBA he would qualify as a National with him earning his dual citizenship with his father being Canadian. There are a bunch of other players down in the US that would now qualify as a National where as before they would be classified as a International because of where they received their "football training" and not because of their heritage.

I agree now that changing the rules for Canadian Players they are more in line with how most sports all over the world identify National Players. Hense the change form the tacky non import to a better National player who has Canadian Heritage. Through a parent who is a Canadian born citizen but may have moved to the US. A line of former CFL players who lived in Canada during their CFL days and had children born in Canada.
Yes there will be some with very loose connections to Canada but there will be many more with parents of Canadian Heritage with previous, and current list of family members living or lived in Canada.