"I find it disturbing that the Bombers forced - emphasis on the word forced - Lefors to take a pay cut from $150,000 to $90,000. I find it disturbing because it could set a precedent, that if the Bombers can do it, other teams will do it to balance their budget."
My take is that this is two things: a) very bad employee relations, and b) probably a violation of the players' CBA.
a) yes, the Bummers could have cut him, and Lefors could have then signed with another team, although that's unlikely given his performance. That would've been the proper way to do it and it wouldn't make the rest of the team second guess themselves even more. My guess is that Kelly didn't want to get egg on his face by releasing the guy he anointed before the season was half over, but now he gets egg on his face anyway. Next free agent season you can bet that most will hesitate before signing with Krazy Kelly.
b) I'd be very surprised if the CBA allows a team to arbitrarily change the terms of a players contract during the term of the contract. Saskatchewan asked Kerry Joseph to take a cut and he refused, so they traded him. Lefors is untradeable at the moment though, so he actually keeps a paycheque in this case when he'd otherwise have none, but that's not really the point. Arbitrary pay cuts and job insecurity are a great way to lower your employee morale.
I think it's ridiculous to expect him to take that kind of pay cut. Kelly was the moron to decided to rest all his hopes on LeFors. He should have been forced to live with that. Let's say for a moment that it paid off and LeFors would have been a stellar starting QB, would he have been allowed to come to WPG and say that 150,000 isn't enough compared to what all the other starters are making and we wanted more money??
I understand why he took it, but I agree that the Bombers are going to have some trouble signing players to big contracts if this is how they are going to operate.
It was reassuring to read that the Argos violated ethical and contractual principles back in the 90s by forcing Shultz to forego his pay for games he missed due to injury. This helps reaffirm my world view, which is centred on the idea that the Argos have no class.
I have a feeling that we are not getting the whole story.
The team cannot 'force' a player to agree to negate his signed contract. They can, however, get him to 'agree' to a reduction for considerations. I think this is what occurred. If so, we will probably never know.
If the comtract was breached by the team, without an agreement, any court would force compliance with the signed contract. There's something behind the scenes on this one.
I totally agree … otherwise this would be a HUGE gamble for WPG to take with practically no upside. They wouldn’t win in any court scenario that I can foresee, really opened themselves up for all kinds of issues with the players union, and set an ugly precedent that should cause problems signing players down the road.
I am sure they didn't force Lefors to negate his contract. But, one can argue that stating the following facts to Lefors strongly steered him in the direction they wanted to go:
1 - You are not ready, and may never be ready, to be a starting quarterback.
2 - We are going to cut you so I hope you have Richie Williams' phone number as the two of you may want to start up a non-football related business together. Cutting you will save us money, but not face.
3 - Or, we can resign you as the backup at a reduced rate and we (Kelly) save face. Maybe you can earn the starters role back or at least show the league that you are a capable backup and would not be better off selling Real Estate in Boise.
4 - It's your "choice".
It's fun watching the Bombers implode. It's just too bad guys like LeFors are getting caught up in it.
However, they can release him because they decide he isn't worth the current pay; in that case he gets nothing.
Faced with this, the player might well decide (as LeFors evidently has done) to take the option offered of staying with the team at a reduced rate of pay.
It may be unseemly and not very nice, but it doesn't violate the CBA to my knowledge; in fact, the CBA enables this very sort of thing by making player contracts non-guaranteed for the first half of the season.
You play for 6 months - make $90,000 sitting on the bench, and you have another half year to go make more money doing something else.
If you make the playoffs, then even more money in your pocket.
You call that a 'gun to your head' ?
I would like that gun to my head, if I had the option.
I'd love it if my employer came to me and said that the agreed upon amount of my pay was going to drop dramatically because they decided I wasn't performing as well as they thought I should, wouldn't you?
Ya I think alot of people would take that offer as in the business world if your not perfoming to what they thought you should they just send you packing. As well people in the business world with good performance records and model employees in this day in age have been forced with the same gun. With we are cutting your pay. Leaves with a few options Like it, Quit, or search for new employment. Does it suck yup is it reality yup. This is the world we live in now where there is little respect and loyalty and very one sided. Does a company or team in this case ever say wow your out performing your worth lets give you a raise asap nope. As employees we have to and wait to our year ends or in the case of teams till your contract expires with any hope of a raise. The second things go bad quickly they ask you to to reduce your salary.
Nothing of the sort. I made no comment whatsoever about Kelly. I was responding to one response Schultz's allegation drew here -- the response being that it reaffirms the view that Argos "have no class." Just pointing out who was presumably involved in the no-class situation to which Schultz referred.