Increase the cap to $5 millions? Where the funds will come from? You are talking an addition of $5,6 millions for the 8 teams; most of the teams would have a huge operating deficit and would not survive.
Unless/until the TV/TSN revenue increase substantially,you cannot increase the SMS maximum substantially. In 2012, it will probably increase by no more than $50,000, to $4,350,000.00, as per collective agreement.
When a new TV deal is signed-may not be until the 2014 season- I expect it to be in the vicinity of $30.0 millions per year,compared with $16.0 millions since 2008. If so,then the maximum SMS could be in the vicinity of $4.8 millions.
Personnally, I have always been an advocate of the franchise/designated player rule,provided their is a maximum that can be paid to each franchise player; for instance, for 2012 I would see a franchise rule and the franchise player to be paid no more than $450,000 a year-there would be no minimum- and the maximum salaries for the other players would be $4.1 millions. A team would have to spend no less than $3.8 millions on these other players. If your franchise player is paid $250,000 a year, you cannot use the unused funds or $200,000 to increase the $4.1 millions.
Most franchise players would be QB and if we want to keep/attract good QB, we have to pay well; with a franchise rule, you can pay good money to your franchise player and there would still be enough monies available for your other players. Presently, it is not always as such; for instance, while the Argos have traded for Ricky Ray and will have to pay him $400,000 or so,the monies for under players will be more limited than in 2011 or 2010; they may have to forget signings of top free agents and maybe some of theirs. A franchise rule would be more beneficial to them.
For the 2012 season and beyond, I ,unfortunately, don't see and change in the SMS and no increase beyond collective agreement. An increase above $50,000 will be a pleasant surprise.