CFL vs. CFLPA - CBA talk

Today on the radio, OTT GM Desjardins was talking CBA negotiations and said some things he probably shouldn’t have.
If this is the attitude, these upcoming negotiations are going to be brutal

#Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins: “I have a pretty good sense that the (salary) cap is not going to move a whole lot. If at all. If it goes up, it’ll be marginally and won’t impact the salary of any one single player.”

#Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins - “Because of one year contracts, there’s so much turnover with your roster from one year to the next that it makes it extremely difficult for fans to identify with players.”

“That’s something that’s lacking in our league right now because there’s so much movement.”

Desjardins on pending free agent WR’s Greg Ellingson a& Dionte Spencer - “We’d like to have them both back. Not sure where they are coming from on salary demands. Can we? To be determined. If they wait too long they could be left on the outside.”

Just posturing.

If he mentions that the league is willing to increase, then that’s where the negotiations will start.

With the new spring leagues and their higher entry salaries, I think the CFL should cap the max salary at whatever the highest paid salary was in the last couple of years, and the increase be at entry level whatever it may be. Lets get the minimum up from $54k. if in the next 10 years the league can get the minimum up to or close to 100k, that would be ideal. If that is just wishing, so be it.

Because the league is still 2 years (?) away from the next TV deal, I don’t see the league moving too much right now.

Great idea.

one question though. Can they stall talks until the TV deal is up for renewal? or can they sign a one year deal and then have some more leverage once the new tv deal is in place?

Yeah Dejardins shouldn’t really be offering his opinion on where the cap will be at. Though I agree it’s not going to go up by much. If expansion happens then there are more jobs for the members to offset it.

In terms of tying it into the TV deal? That contract runs through the 2021 season so I wouldguess that theleague would want a 5 year CBA, perhaps with an re-opener after 3.

I am sure the CFLPA will have a very long list of demands to go with “mo money”

Marcel Desjardins has always been a good source for information as he has been quite candid on several radio shows and podcasts regarding topics such as salaries and team finances.

I am quite surprised of Marcel Desjardins’ remarks regarding the increase in the salary cap. Not the time to make such comments. Does he want his potential free agents to sign soon,since the increase will be small?

The Commissioner should tell him that it’s not the time to make such ill advised comments.


I hope the players do not take another “major hair cut” for the league like they have ad nauseam.
When you consider the league implicated and drastically reduced the non players cap, which already has had a major reduction on coaching, so where are the so called savings going?
How about the vast majority back into the players pool to raise the cap significantly to include the embarrassing entry level of $54k.
Especially now when the new spring league is offering what $75k US for a minimum not to mention for less than one half of the games.
The CFLPA has to dig their heals and we need a minimum $100k(the Canadian exchange rate currently means around $70k US) with a new ceiling at least $6M and what say we bring back the franchise player rule excluding the QB from the hit.

Did you feel the players took a haircut in the current/expiring CBA?

Desjardins is not an owner. He has no impact in the upcoming negotiations.He was only expressing his opinion. More to the point, is what he said unreasonable or a shock? No, it is not.

Braley would love that.

I still think the way for the league is to go is to hire a sports innovation in the off season and look to the rugby route on tackles. If they could engineer a safer game not only could it for all intents and purposes solve the concussion issue and spare the league from future litigation Canadian football, where the head is not part of it, would have the justification to keep players’ salaries low. Otherwise pay the players what they’re worth.

The concussion helmets players will have to wear are 800 dollars alone.

From recollection, I guess we can all look it up on line, there wasn’t a great deal of negotiations reported and the league basically had it’s way.
With minor increases incremental over the years on the cap and the minimum was increased from the ludicrous $40’s to the still ludicrous $54k.
There was also a slight players share increase for playoff money and the GC, with the current $16k(should be $25K) for the winners.
After taxes and the exchange for the US players they will be lucky to take home $7500.00.
We are not a multi million dollars league and that’s the beauty about it, however the time is here to come out of the dark ages with my suggested minimum of $100k with the appropriate cap increases.

Here is the improvements made in the last CBA over the previous one

The bolded part is how the League bought the veteran players into accepting. ???

• Increases the current salary cap per team from $4.4 million to $5 million this year and an additional $50,000 a year in subsequent years to a total of $5.2 million in 2018.
• Sets the minimum any team must spend on players’ salaries at $4.4 million this year, and an additional $50,000 a year in subsequent years, to a total of $4.6 million in 2018.
• Increases the minimum pay for players from the current $45,000 to $50,000 this year and an additional $1,000 a year to a total of $54,000 in 2018.
• Increases pension contributions from the current $3,600 for clubs and $3,600 for players to $3,700 each in 2014 and an additional $100 each a year to a total contribution of $4,100 each in 2018.
• Provides a $1,500 ratification bonus per each rookie player, and $7,500 per each veteran player for ratification bonuses, with the union to determine the scale on which veterans will receive bonuses (with all such bonuses to be paid to players on team rosters as of June 22, 2014).
• Increases a team’s active roster from 42 to 44 players, and decreases a team’s reserve roster from four to two players.
• Amends the rules and regulations to provide for a six-game injured list, eliminating the nine-game injured list. Clubs are allowed to pull a maximum of two players off the six-game injury list early and without it counting against the salary cap for any player who continues to be on that list for more than six games.
• Amends the training camp protocol to allow only one practice a day to have contact.
• Amends in-season provisions to provide to allow only one practice a week to have contact.
• Eliminates the current requirement for an option year on all future contracts with the exception of first contracts for rookie players.
• Expands practice rosters from seven to ten players per team and, come the Fall, from 12 to 15 players.

tactic for engaging pending FAs…hoping some bite.

Thing is…even in doing so he is not likely wrong/far off. The league’s revenues are up, but it is not like they got close enough to that +27mil to start talking sharing it…so they aren’t up that much. Obviously they will still want a chunk of that or a huge raise, but that doesn’t mean it will happen…and I really see the league pushing for most of it to go towards the base. so…if you extend and the base increases, so do you. If you are making top dollar, chances are most of it is hitting base and it is not going to bring that much more to you. I mean unless the players can magically yank 3 mil out of the teams that isn’t there.

If the CFLPA holds out for $100k minimum, we will not be watching three-down football in 2019.

Trust me. The CFL players #1 concern is not the minimum payments.

The CBA is driven by the highest paid Canadians in the game. Generally O-line guys, past and present.

US players are far from the power group. Most US players just want to get paid, maybe get an NFL look. Very few are really invested in the CFL.

It was interesting in the last negotiations, though, how the one-time payout bribes helped influence those US players to ratify the deal, which somewhat undermined the powerful Canadians who rule the roost in the PA.

I wonder if something similar will be offered this time around too.

Absolutely correct. The American players (in particular those on a rookie contract), were totally detached from previous negotiations, and wanted no part of job action. In fact some were quite satisfied with the leagues initial offer which I believe was a $100K total increase to the salary cap, because as you say, most see the CFL as merely a brief stop over until they land a big money NFL contract. (Then of course they promptly get cut in training camp and go back to their home towns to coach football at their local YMCA).

You may be right?
Most of us here have followed this league for many years.
Since the near demise in the 90’s and for what seems like every CBA, it’s always the players who have capitulated for the sake of the league.
Is it not time for the rank and file to be “rewarded” for their patience and willingness to take the home town discount for the sake of the league.
I do not see them being in a better bargaining position.
Sure there are trouble spots, here in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
But, the other 6 teams and I would say the league as a entity has never been healthier.
We have a flourishing Ottawa team our last expansion site and soon a new one.
The TV contract is huge, however undervalued, and will increase possibly substantially.
What is $54K in the overall scheme of things and especially to the US players when dealing with exchange, housing etc., frankly there is nothing left.
That’s an embarrassment, not to mention again my other dollar amounts!

I would bet that Desjardins said EXACTLY what the CFL has told teams their personnel should say. Entering negotiations the league’s position is going to be little, if any, increase in the cap.