Is the League Looking to Change the Ratio?

The league, for its part, is thought to be taking a long, hard look at the player ratio that guarantees Canadians seven starting jobs and 21 spots on a CFL roster. As things stand now, the highest-paid players (non-quarterback division) aren’t necessarily the league best players but experienced Canadian starters.

This is in keeping with the laws of supply and demand and the league is interested in increasing the supply of players, irrespective of their passport. To sell this, Ambrosie will point to the new franchise and the jobs it represents for all CFLers.

At least that’s the league’s position. Just not sure if the CFLPA sees things the same way.

Even prior to the proposed expansion we see teams scrambling in Oct. to find Nationals when injuries hit.

On the other hand they will now also be scrambling to find quality Internationals with 2 new Leagues as competition.

It’s odd that a reporter with the experience and status of Willes would make such an obvious error as stating that Reilly is the reigning MOP.

Teams are playing with fire to stake out such a high percentage of the SMS imo. But Lions certainly need a drawing card to attract fans. They need wins to keep them.

I suspect there would be a provision in the new CBA that if a tenth team comes into the league the ratio would go down accordingly.

As usual the owners are looking at whatever they can do to beat up on the CFLPA and negotiate an extra nickel out of the players.

I think the cat’s out of the bag now. :wink:

I think they should renegotiate the ratio. More Canadians in the league, plus a way to promote the Canadian q.b.’s. Kids don’t want to play the position because there’s no chance of advancing, Not very good for minor football, and growing the base of players out there.

Considering the composition of those in power within the Players Association, it would seem that them agreeing to a lower ratiofor starters without the guarantee of a 10th team is unlikely.

However, Randy Ambrosie does seem to want to find a way to include a Canadian QB and a Global player on the active roster. One way it could happen and which might actually be acceptable to both sides is if they used the roster spots now occupied by the 2 gameday scratches. Teams could dress a 45th or 46th player but only if they are a Canadian QB or a Global player.

With regards to talk about Mike Reilly getting over $600K for multiple years, I would find it difficult to believe that the strategy would be successful & that he would get all the dollars from such a contract. Not enough money would be available to the rest of the club to make them contenders. When that happens, we all know the result. Said team will ask him to renegotiate the terms. If he declines, he gets traded. Reilly was already the highest paid player last year, and his team finished last in the West.

Yes, the same issue came up before the last CBA negotiations. The league likely uses changing the ratio as a point they can “concede” to the PA to make the PA feel better about not getting as much money as they’d like.

That’s not to say ownership wouldn’t really like to change the ratio too, but it can be used as a bargaining chip to save them money.

I would like to see the on field ratio gone.

The Canadian players don’t need this any more. The situation on the field should dictate who is out there. When there are injuries the ratio becomes burdensome and it may be hard to juggle. The team ratio controls number of Canadians not the on field ratio.

Canadians in the NCAA or Usports are now signing down south. Good for them but this league has tight boundaries for pay.

I am not saying get rid of the team ratio, it is a natural constraint and the numbers of nationals on each team won’t change. Let the coaches coach and decide who needs to be out there

Ambrosie was dead against this as a player and serving in the PA. This would be a fundamental shift in ideology…i would fully expect him to speak as to why the change…because where the money goes has not really changed since those days.

I was not born in Canada…i still believe that lowering the ratio is really bad for the game. It detracts the youth movement from playing the game, and over time, that erodes things further.

Maybe what they need to do is revert to something closer to the definitions from a few years back. With the partnership with Mexico, this just seems to make sense

I wouldn’t mind doing away with the starters ratio if the international ratio were reduced down to 5-10.

If the league decides to keep 20+ internationals, then I wouldn’t mind lowering the national starter ratio if the total of nationals on the team increased.

So, if they go from 7 national starters to 6, then increase the ratio from 21 to 23 nationals on the roster. That would help ensure we have enough Canadians developing at the pro level to replace injured starters and to prepare for any future expansion drafts.

I would agree with you completely,if you open that door it will never close.If the CFL wants more players, more fans ,more money you must get youth football going.The Seahawks made this a priority 10-12 years ago and its paying off.

While we don’t know the exact amount, it has been said/written that Mike Reilly did make between $500,000 and $550,000 in 2018. With an increase in the 2019 max. cap of between $300,000 and $400,000,I don’t see the problems in paying him $600,000 to $650,000 in 2019 and beyond.Same for Bo Levi Mitchell. If Edmonton can’t re-sign Reilly, he will probably sign with BC.

I doubt that the Players Association will ever agree to a decrease in the numbers of Nationals players as starters.i.e. 7. Yes, If ever there is a tenth team, they could agree to reduce the number to 6.


Richard -Do you think SMS will rise by $300,00-$400,000? If right, then that changes things. I was thinking more in the range of $75,000-$100,000.

With the Players side being controlled by Canadian Linemen I doubt they endorse anything that hints at a downgrade of their pay structure.

Somehow they have to get that minimum up. I wonder if they would ever endorse a ceiling on what an individual can earn. But I suppose that opens up a can of worms.

I do think there is some merit in allowing a team to exceed the cap by a certain percentage (10%?) because of resigning players remaining with their team for over a certain period of time (5-6 years?).

Yes,everyman, I do think that the cap. will increase by no less than $300,000 and as much as $400,000. I could be wrong,but I do think that it won’t be less than these numbers.

Minimum salary could increase by no less than $8,000 and as much as $10,000.


I hope you are right. That’s a fairly healthy increase.

I think when Ottawa joined it should have been lowered to 6, then to 5 when Halifax starts playing. But I just hope it doesn’t go down again unless there is more expansion. I have a feeling that they will settle on 10 teams and make that work for the next decade or two before they look at further expansion.

The poor Bombers have been bounced back and forth between both divisions so much that they barley have a division identity. This is because of unstable ownership in Montreal and Ottawa.

So my position is lower it to 5 Nationals when Halifax joins then make all 10 teams super stable before looking at other options.

I see no real evidence of a shortage of Canadian talent. I do see an obsession with American decision makers on insisting that Canadians are mainly suitable for O-line work even in the face that most top Canadian 0-line guys are NFL bound and they screw up their draft and ratio on field decisions.

I agree with you.
Look at the Stampeders, whenever their Strongside linebacker went down, Adeleke and Berger would fill in. Two Canadians who played well in a position that is filled by an American. Same with Edem in Saskatchewan.

When Eliminian went down in BC, Herdman stepped in and improved their run defense.

Sinopoli has been top three in the league in recieving, the past two years.

Andrew Harris has finished top three in rushing the past four years.

Boetang finished sixth in sacks and made a number of American tackles look bad.

Muamba, Ackie and Lokombo all finished top ten in tackles.

When given the chance Canadians can succeed in this league. These fans with their inferiority complex need to stop and leave the ratio as is or even grow it.

If I remember correctly during the last contract, the League was proposing going to 4 Canadian starters instead of the current 7. There was a huge blow back from the fans not just the CFLPA, so the League backed off.
But it is a problem finding quality Canadian back ups to fill in when one of the 7 or 8 starters go down. Having the top Canadians in the NFL of course doesn’t help the situation. Maybe the idea of cutting back to a 4 or 5 starters because of the drain to the NFL doesn’t sound so bad now. As long as they keep the total numbers at 21 Canadians and 23 Internationals. The good teams would still probably start more than the required number but it would help the weaker teams. It would also hasten the need for a Canadian QB as teams wouldn’t want an International spot held by a 3rd string International QB.