Coaches Cap Needs to Change

Over the last couple of seasons we have seen where this really hurts teams, in ways we shouldn't be hurting teams.

  • Edmonton - in removing the previous GM and his crew, left a critically small budget that forced a rebuilding team to operate with a smaller staff, less reps with a coach in our limited practice schedule, coaches filling more than one position, and what coaches there were taking home less money than they should have.

  • Regina - Face it - they now have a lame duck coach and GM going into the 2023 season. Why? because letting them go with one more year on their contract would put them where the Elks were, struggling to find coaches, operating without coaches, and with coaches being paid a discount rate for doing more work.

I can in some ways agree with a cap for coaches BUT putting a team in a place where they have a choice of having a coach that they don't want or putting them in a position of trying to fill seats when they are not going to be very good because they can't afford coaching seems ludicrous to me.

I think it would make far far more sense to:

  • Make the cap per season, for active coaches only.
  • Create a system to amortize a former coaches cap over 2-3 seasons.

Can we give the CFL any more bright ideas on how to handle this?


i agree. at least it’s increasing next season.

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It certainly hurts the production the field and that in itself will kill the CFL if it continues

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All well and good but as an example a coach with a two year contract has an issue that takes them off the bench before the start of the season.

No matter the team, no matter how strong they are - you in some way just pretty much condemned them to at least 3 not good seasons.

Two seasons where the coach is still a large cap hit, and the next while you rebuild once you can hire a full coaching staff again.

Where we are with free agency you could be decimated in those two not good seasons.

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i wish there was no operations cap. hard enough with the player salary cap to deal with.

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Even an appeal board would help.

Or being able to spread the cap hit of the contract by two or three times the length of the contract.

Or even cover some of it with unused cap money from the previous season....


Treat them like played who always get dumped with cash hit when no longer needed or they lose a step or two

What is the current penalty for breaking the operations cap? Anyone know off hand?

Should've just googled it first:

Teams that violate the cap are subject to a dollar-for-dollar fine for the first $100,000 they go over. For violations over $100,000, teams will forfeit a draft pick(s) while being assessed a fine between $25,000 to $250,000.

CFL operations cap to increase to pre-pandemic levels in 2023: report - 3DownNation.

So maybe the dollar-for-dollar fine should be for the first $250,000 over or something like that.

I wonder if there's any provision in the revenue sharing agreement that teams that go over forfeit some of their ability to collect revenue from the other clubs. It wouldn't sit well, I'm sure, for some clubs to have to share their revenue to cover the cost of another team's violation of the cap.


this is an excellent question and i’d like to know the answer.

So the only way for a team that struggling with a loss of coaches and staff (and likely struggling on the field as well) is to pay a dollar for dollar fine AND give up a draft pick that would help said struggling team?

So you own 9 businesses, and you punish the one that's struggling by taking all their good managers away, or fining them for getting better managers.....AND cutting the profit sharing pot to boot.

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Perhaps the six week injury for players could be modified, if a coach is no longer employed, his or her salary will not count against the Cap.

Just another proof of concept that the CFL has upper management issues

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The problem is trying to shape up the poorly run teams who spend (and hire/fire) irresponsibly, thus making it more expensive to operate the other clubs.

I think the current system has its flaws, but there's a reason it was needed.


I generally agree with you Squishy. The cap limits the ability to put a good product on the field if coaches are fired for poor performance. I certainly think that limiting the cap to one year is appropriate. I also don’t think that other teams that pay in revenue should be responsible for overages. Maybe the remaining salaries can be subtracted from revenue sharing received or some kind of penalty be levied to pay into revenue sharing if the offending team is in the black. However it is done, the main points to me is that a poor team shouldn’t be rendered even worse or hampered such as the Elks were this year, but there still needs to be some kind of penalty.

The coaching cap has been discussed to a fair extent in another thread I can’t remember although that thread wasn’t exclusively dedicated to the cap.

Edit: I also think that whatever the rules are there should be no ability to skirt the coaching cap by calling a coach a “consultant” as recently happened with both Chris and Khari Jones. Maybe the rule book allows a “Jones” exception but I doubt it.

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Not to mention the first time Jones bolted the EE and took the entire coaching staff and the water boys and towel boys too... That had to hurt the EE too for one or so seasons too...
I say first time because we all know it's gonna happen again eventually

yes definitely this.

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That's an interesting thought. It would limit the damage to one season without hurting whats on field.

That was where my "over two seasons" idea was headed. It hurts, but it won't leave you 5 or 6 coaches short.

Or create a performance based amortization for cap hit for parting ways with a coach or GM under contract So say, your team goes 16-2, its a bigger hit than if you went 2-16.

And you are right about the "skirting the rules" part too. It's not fair to put a cap on and then allow you to hire anyone as a "consultant" and just walk around the cap.


So what team should do to make the CFL fix this is fire an entire coaching staff... Fire the GM and his or her underlings then hire all new people as consultants ... Diet of how they changed the rules right after Chris Jones and entire staff was poached by the riders a few years ago.

No. It would though allow say a team that vastly under performed and had discipline issues to move on from their coach and GM without having to hire whoever would take the job for a discount and still be missing coaches that affect on-field performance.

On @Jon idea - How about instead of revenue sharing - contribute that amount to the CFLPA pension fund or to an official CFL charity or even to junior football programs. O even allowing them to offset the cap hit by donating part of that amount.

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This operations cap was a bad idea from the start. All it's done is hurt the on-field product. The best solution would be to scrap it.

A possible example of the damage, though this is pure speculation and hypothetical...

Nyhus... proven winner at the college level, hometown boy and potential local hero, canadian homegrown quarterback, is offered a contract by the team he grew up watching. His response? Essentially, it's "thanks but no thanks. I'd rather give up football and teach than play for you".

If the Riders didn't have operations cap issues, and were able to fire ODay who cant find guys to protect the QB, and Dicks who threw his QB under the bus with a very public lie, would Nyhus have signed?

I don’t know the answer. No one does, except maybe Nyhus. But he would have been very marketable, and possibly successful. And all that potential chose to walk for some reason. The fact that this is a possible scenario demonstrates how destructive this coaching cap is to the game.