Great idea for keeping veteran players.

Whether it was mike Pringle finishing his career in Edmonton. Or Nic Lewis finishing his career in Montreal... Or Geroy wearing rider green.... The salary cap although useful, also damages our league. Not to mention guys getting cut, not because they have lost their skills but because someone else will work for cheaper.
For years I have hated this and often advocated ways of stopping this....
Well, to my shock... I did not realize that a league had already done something to stop the aforementioned from happening.

[url=http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/afl-veterans-list-rules-clarified.978326/]http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/a ... ed.978326/[/url]

Mr Bungle (and this time I will use the honorific) thanks for finding this one. :thup: I agree with all your examples except maybe Geroy going for a another chance to win the cup as much as the money but point is well presented. Like the idea of a discount to keep long time veterans as it would provide that continuity that we all bemoan the league lacks. Not sure that 50% is the right amount though, seems high, but does seem like they have a 33% level in there somewhere as well.
Any one of the stat. guys/gals here know or can figure out how many players on each team this would effect?

We used to have a rule that allowed international veterans to qualify as nationals if they played for the same team for, IIRC, 5+ years. As such, they were more or less eligible for more $ under the cap. I wouldn't mind seeing a return to something like this.

I'd suggested this in an earlier thread that a portion of veteran salaries be exempt from the Cap. For example a 7-yr Vet would have 15% of his salary exempt; 20% = 9 yr; 25% = 11 yr; 30% for 13 yr Vets. This way teams could choose to exceed the Cap by keeping veteran players on the roster at full salary while only 70% to 85% of their salaries would count towards the Cap. Teams could still choose to jettison older players or reduce their salaries if they wanted to spend only to the maximum Cap.

Sorry, missed your thread earlier.
I think the big difference here is that the player has to have been with one team for a set period and be remaining with that team to qualify. Otherwise it would just extending the cap which I do not believe is the point. Keep the dollars the same just reduce the amount that goes against that amount for long term "Heritage" players. If I am not mistaken in your scenario teams could literally load up with veterans go over the cap and make a cup run. Seems to me to be counter productive and defeats the whole purpose of a cap. Bungle pointed out only three examples and really how many more would there be. This is an exception not a every day event.

Actually these are not even the exception. They are players who lost their place and their previous skill which made them a starter on their clubs.
Pringle lost his job to Lawrence Phillips. At the time Don Mathews called Phillips the best player he ever coached.
Nik Lewis gained 100 pounds and hardly played.
And Geroy would not accept a reduced role therefore a pay cut.
Even if there was a heritage clause should they be overpaid if not a starter?

So it was not a matter of money. More of value. Maybe an issue of ratio.

Did nic lewis really gain 100 pounds...lol... I thought it was about 30

Interesting ideas but I am not sure it is ever going to happen. Part of pro football is the out with the old and in with the new. The older veteran who has lost a step needs to step aside and allow a player that a team has been developing get his chance. That opens up spots on the roster for rookie draft pick and rookie Free Agents.
Its the cycle of life in pro football. There are only so many roster spots and the excitement of seeing a rookie explode onto to the scene makes the draft something that gets a lot of attention.
Although the NFL is really starting to cheat the system by signing more top CFL players that are in their prime mid 20's with pro experience and the grind of a pro schedule and only needing to pay them a rookie free agent wage.
On the flip side the any NFL personal guy will tell you there is really no difference from the last 15 players who get cut and the last 15 players to make the roster.
It is among those 15 players per team along with practice roster players who have run out of options that are hitting the CFL at record pace.
Since the NFL has invested some very decent $$$ and expanded the Practice rosters to 10 per team thats a lot less rookies that are that are coming right to the CFL. That would include internationals and Nationals now a days.
As well the recent increase of TC rosters to 90 in the NFL thats even less players from University that possibily go to TC with a CFL team.
Hence the CFL has made a slight adjustment by upping the practice rosters and expanding them even more for the month of October.

I did not realize that a there was once a rule in place where import players who are with a team 5 seasons or more were then considered nationals.
I had thought about the CFL doing something like that but to me they would also have to have established year round full time residence for 5 years as well. Otherwise it would be a bit easier.
To me if you want to establish National status and are not from a country or if you were not born in or to a parent of said country. You should have to make a commitment to being a resident of said country for an extended amount of time.

Yes but....
It's always a matter of money. Just how much and how you want to spend it. Which is where value comes in. What do you as the team and the player value more play or pay.

Pringle ran for 1376 yards and then 1141 yards in Edmonton while The best player Mathews ever coached got 1022 in Montreal was gone in one season and less then half of that in Calgary before wearing out his welcome there as well.
Geroy cost the riders 170k ( didn't they overpay everyone that year?) only nabbed 565 yards after early injury but caught two TD's in the Grey Cup
Nik was not used after the leg injury in the same way but still looked pretty strong almost busting into the end zone on the opening TD march for the Stamps last year plus if you watch his highlight reel the team put up you'll see him blocking as much on other guys catches as he ever did. Montreal is apparently paying him 120k and time will tell the value.
All stats. via Wikipedia so don't call me out but feel free to correct

My point is they are still players that can contribute and their clubs might have kept them in some role if they could hide some of their salary.
Having said all that I agree that it is a cold business and teams do have to move on while sometime players just can not see the end. Ask Allan Pitts.

Veteran players hold more value than what they contribute on the field... I remember as a kid and going to Bomber games that Joe Poploski had declined significantly, but was treated as the toast of the town after the kicker went down and he filled in and ki med the winning points... The point isn't the production, but is the fan identification... If the fans do not identify with anyone on the team then what is the point? Charles Roberts last 8 seasons in Winnipeg... In the 7 seasons since he was dumped on his ear, I can't even count the running backs we have had.Reid ,simpson, grisby etc

It has been talked about seemingly every year of some way to allow teams to allow top calibre import players like Pinball, Geroy etc. to play there last years not counting against the "International" quota. But it would have to go through the CFLPA now for any changes and the fact that most of the executive on the CFLPA are Canadians it could be difficult to change. Plus the fact that many of these players would still want to command a high salary might make that change unwanted by the Owners as well.
But with the NFL starting to skim the top Canadians out of the League now maybe it could be revisited at contract time. Otherwise it will stay under the "wishful thinking" category.

Interesting idea. Having something in place to encourage the conservation of established, well known veterans on the same team for the duration or at least the lions' share of their careers certainly helps sell the league and is worth looking into. A guy like Pinball Clemons deserved some kind of special designation or financial consideration during the course of his playing career for all of his work both on and of the field.

Another option would be to amend the international rule to include a few spots that can be used for veteran players, as follows:

  • 3 QBs
  • 20 nationals
  • 4 nationals OR veteran* international
  • 17 internationals
  • Veteran players are those players who have been in the league for 9 years, or on the team for 5 consecutive years.

The starting international counts would remain as is (at most 16 internationals), and the veteran internationals would still be counted as internationals for this part of the rule.

This rule adjustment would encourage teams to keep a few veteran players around without forcing it on them. It also maintains the integrity of the salary management system, not allowing richer teams to overpay for the top veterans in an attempt to gain an advantage over the poorer teams, unlike salary exemption options.

(The numbers I've suggested are just a first guess at what might work.)

That's an interesting idea but the 4 veteran's positions would have to replace or augment the 4 Designated Internationals who can only enter the game if another International comes off. This designate player rule preserves the minimum 7 starting positions for Canadians (which I believe is crucial to the CFL).

Another tweak might be to include QB's in the ratio, so Canadian QB's would count as Nationals (QB's are currently not included in the import ratio).

So the roster could look like this:

21 nationals
19 internationals
3 Designated Imports
3 nationals OR veteran* international

  • Veteran players are those players who have been in the league for 9 years, or on the team for 5 consecutive years.

It should be required that at least 7 of the 24 starting positions be reserved for Nationals with a minimum of 3 Nationals starting on defence and 4 on offence (or vice-versa if the team chooses.) Starting Nationals can only replaced by another National player.

3 players would be designated as QB's and they couldn't play any other position.

Including QB's in the ratio would encourage teams to dress and develop Canadian QB's.

I don't like the concept of rewarding players who stay on the same team for several years. Many players get traded through no fault of their own, so why should they get penalized by not qualifying for veteran status?

Same as the "Naturalized Canadians", which was tried in the 1960's. It didn't work and was scaled-back then disbanded after 3 years. It allowed American players (who had lived in Canada for 5 years) to replace starting Canadian players. That might have been OK in the 60's when we had 14 starting Canadians. But now with only 7 Canadian starters, replacing them with Americans would not be a positive move for the CFL, I don't believe.

Actually it should read 17 Internationals not 19. So the roster could perhaps look like this:

21 Nationals
17 Internationals
4 Designated Imports
2 Veterans (10+ yr. with 30% of their salary not counting towards the Salary Cap. Int. Veterans can only replace another Int. starter)
2 Reserve Players (who can't dress for the game but get paid full salary?)

Note that I said that the starting international rule would stay as is, which includes the designated international rule, and that the veteran internationals would still be classed as internationals for this. So there would be no reduction in the number of starting national players. Which I agree is critical to the success of the league. But so is retaining players.

With the numbers I proposed, there could be a one man reduction in Canadian players, assuming every team filled all four spots with veteran internationals. Would all teams do this? Are there even enough good veteran players out there to allow this? Not sure. If not, it actually could result in more Canadians in the league. But I wouldn't object to the numbers being changed to ensure there are still 22 national spots guaranteed.

You are correct that a veteran player being traded means he would have to wait a bit longer to achieve veteran status, but he'd get there eventually. On the other hand, teams might not be as quick to trade their veterans if they knew that they'd qualify as veterans in a couple of years. So the "face of the team" might not change every couple of years like it does today. And adjusting the qualifying years could help there as well.

Xvys wrote:
Same as the "Naturalized Canadians", which was tried in the 1960's. It didn't work and was scaled-back then disbanded after 3 years. It allowed American players (who had lived in Canada for 5 years) to replace starting Canadian players. That might have been OK in the 60's when we had 14 starting Canadians. But now with only 7 Canadian starters, replacing them with Americans would not be a positive move for the CFL, I don't believe.

I believe the players that became "Naturalized Canadians" had to take out Canadian citizenship first, which is where the 5 year thing came from. You had to live in Canada 5 years before applying. The rosters in the 60's were set at 32. 14 Imports and 18 Canadians. So teams needed 10 starting Canadians but weren't forced to if an Import could play both ways, and some did. They might not have played 60 minutes both ways but would come in to games at times.
Jim Rountree all time Argo great DB used to also play WR as well. Still holds the record of a 108 yard receiving TD from Tobin Rote.
Players like John Barrow and Angelo Mosca used to be chosen as all stars at both DT and OT in the same year. Cookie Gilchrest played both Fullback and DL in his early years in the league.
But most players couldn't do that now with all the excess weight they carry. I could still see some Coaches using a few good American DB's as receivers in the crunch if there weren't bound by the ratio. Wasn't that long ago Byron Parker used to come into the game as a WR for the Argos, but he had to replace another import.

Once you get below 7 starters as Canadians, the word “Canadian” becomes a bit less descriptive/informative/representative whatever of the Canadian Football League. To me this is what the Canadian Football League is mainly about, making sure our boys are important in the game. The rules are very, very secondary to this to the point it wouldn’t even bother me that much if the Canadian game went completely American rules as long as there is a significant Canadian draft and that having the best group of Canadians on your team gives a team the best chance to win the Grey Cup.

Agreed. I had mentioned this in another thread years ago where the CFL should recognize players that have spent so many years in the league or give some sort of credit to teams for Internationals that have so many years in the CFL and have made a Canadian city their full time home. Given how much player turnover there is, now even more so with increasing NFL interest in signing CFL FAs, I think it's important for the league to find and promote guys that commit to the CFL. Some will say these players get salaries and that should be enough. But the problem is that right now the message is that the top players are all going to jump ship after a year or two. The league needs to have a countermessage. Without it, the league will be increasingly viewed as a minor league system which will turn off some fans and will limit the leagues growth.