Is the NFL taking advantage of the CFL?

Watching the NFL signing our players leaves me with split feelings. Firstly, I'm happy for the players since they will get a substancial pay increase and play in the league they obviously dreamed about playing in . The second as a fan of the CFL I feel that we are getting the short end of the stick. I believe the initial agreement between the NFL and CFL giving the NFL the option to take our players in their option year has ended (correct me if I'm wrong here). The NFL is however still taking our players and the CFL is not objecting. Why? These players are still under contract. When the NFL signs them we the fans are losing the privelage of watching some very talented players play. I feel that the NFL should have to pay some type of compensation to the team from which they sign a player in their option year, be it monitary or options to pick a player off their roaster that they feel needs development. I'd like to hear some other opinions on this. Is the CFL being too polite in giving up players to the NFL in their option year?

I've made this very same point previously. Onknight explained that they still allow the players out of their option year to encourage a better class of player to come to the CFL in the first place. This better class of player would be more likely to sign in the CFL if they know that their maximum commitment to the league might be as little as one year if an NFL team wants to sign them.

I personally don't agree with this being allowed, but I certainly understand why it is still allowed. If the NFL had any class at all the team doing the signing would send some compensation to the CFL team losing the player. If my somewhat old memory is correct, this is essentially how we got Garney Henley from Green Bay(?).

Remember, anything the NFL "gives" to the CFL is viewed as pure "your are very lucky we are so nice to you CFL" so unless the CFL fights for anything, they aren't going to get it. Now is the CFL in any position to fight for anything, well, that's another issue entirely.
Also remember, the current commish of the NFL allowed Ralph Wilson to just go into the CFL territory no questions asked. Bottom line, the NFL couldn't care about the CFL in the least.

Every CFL player that goes to the CFL is a loss not just for the team losing the player, but the entire league. But I wouldn't want to stand in the way of any player who can make the jump, pursue a dream, test himself against the very best and make some huge $$$. These guys are only doing what any of us would do if given the chance.

I think the agreement between the leagues is as fair as an unfair relationship can be.

An Argo-Cat fan

It's a win a win for both leagues, the more players that develop and make it in the NFL makes the CFL look stronger and is good publicity.

I can't see how the CFL looks stronger or how it's good for publicity. It's just a constant drain on our resources so our teams are always in a building mode, having to constantly develop AND replace players. And as for the NFL, well they sit back and cherry pick from our league (who has spent time and resources developing these players) and the NFL has no scruples. There's no reimbursement, or transfer fees. ZIP. For the's a sweet deal.

One that I think should be cancelled. If the player is good enough to warrant a tryout down there, the NFL should provide the host team with renumeration. Or...they wait until the option year is over.

Another way of dealing with it is to scrap the option year concept altogether. Sign a player for one year, it means one year. Sign him for two, it means two. If you want a player for three years, sign him for three. No one would be in doubt about contract duration, or who has what options or escape clauses.

These players for the most part are Imports WHO the NFL missed in the first place, The NFL should at least be giving the CFL a "Finders FEE"!

Don't blame the NFL ... go blame the players that want to goto the NFL.
If someone is "FORCED" to play for a CFL team by way of what a contract says do you think they are going to give you 100%
maybe they will maybe not but even when players start kicking up a fuss about a trade they usually get traded before too long ... noone wants a lame duck on their team.

People wouldn't complain if it was the other way around ... and i dont remember hearing about all the complaints when the Americans came up here because the dollar was worth more and they ended up making more in the end.

But put the blame where it belongs .. on the players that want to leave and go south. If they donot make the team they will just come crawling back anyways ... we'll see most of them next year.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not think that there is any formal agreement between the two leagues right now. Rather, there is simply a gentleman's agreement that each league will honour the other league's contacts. If that's the case, then the NFL has been respectful of the CFL since it has respected its contracts and only approaches players during their option windows. Remember, too, that the window is only open for a three or four months. Once it closes, if a player has not signed in the NFL, then he remains with his current team going into CFL training camp.

In a way, this is just another form of free agency. Doesn't the NHL have different levels of agency that GMs must track and manage with their players? In European soccer, lower level teams are constantly selling their best players to the big clubs to make money. Essentially, they are charging fees for finding and development. I don't like losing our best players to any other team, but roster management is just another skill set for a good GM.

This has nothing to do with the NFL VS the CFL. It is between the CFL and the Players association!

The contract that the players sign allows them to go to the NFL in their option year. This was negotiated between the CFL and the PA, not the NFL

How many of the players that have signed down south were in their option year and how many were outright free agents?

If a free agent signs with an NFL team, it again has nothing to do with the NFL because they are free agents

I suspect that this somewhat larger than normal exodus is at least partly related to the demise of NFL Europe and Arena football. Players who otherwise would have played in NFL Europe, and more recently, Arena League, are ending up in the CFL instead and some are getting noticed for play that is better than was expected from the scouting report.

I'm not sure what impact the new UFL league (or whatever it's called) is having / will have, but it seemed that the better players were guys who'd had their shot in the NFL and couldn't/didn't make it, while the guys from the CFL that are being signed are guys that have yet to get an NFL shot. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the future.

It also raises a question, namely, whether the CFL would really want to 'officially' be a development league for the NFL. This is what the NFL would want in order to renew an agreement with the CFL. I don't think it's desireable. This would mean much more traffic of players between leagues, and would require the CFL to keep more raw prospects on at the expense of seasoned vets. Bottom line is that it would probably destabilize the rosters in the CFL and ultimately make the CFL a much less enjoyable fan experience.


I don't know that the NFL signing players in their option year is really taking advantage of the CFL, rather just signing the most talented players available. I do think that CFL team should be compensated in some way, but I don't know that we will see this happen.

I think the current arrangement works well. Young players will often sign for 1 or 2 years plus an option knowing that if they make a big splash (like others have before them) they have the chance to make an NFL roster, which they obviously did not do in the first place. This makes the CFL a bigger attraction to US players coming out of college.

It seems like there have been a higher than usual number of players being signed by the NFL this year. That's probably largely due to the fact that NFL Europe folded, and the AFL is currently in limbo.

While I understand it is tough to basically have your young talent leave at the end of each season, only to potentially return around labour day, there is some potential upside to this situation. If a lot more CFL players start making NFL players, the CFL is going to get more attention from both scouts and fans in the US. If there is more interest in watching teams up here for future prospects, there is the chance that more games may get picked up by US networks. This could potentially generate some more revenue for the league. This may be a bit of a stretch, but in the football crazy US, you never know. More revenue = bigger salary cap = more interest from US players = more interest from US fans = more TV coverage = more revenue ...


Why should they be compensated? There’s no rules being broken, the NFL isnt breaking any contracts. If the league doesnt like it they can do away with the option year rule but if they do players will never sign long term, pretty much every contract will be for one year.

As an analogy, NASCAR has recently taken over CASCAR , so, in effect, the Canadian Tire Series is turning into a training ground for the bigger parent company. I follow one team in particular and a major NASCAR owner has pretty much taken over the Canadian team and is sending the younger drivers in his stable up here to drive and get experience,obviously with the goal being to go back down to the States and drive in the "bigs"

Another casualty is Cayuga Speedway. It is pretty much dead now as it doesn't meet NASCAR standards anymore as far as I understand......they were taken out of the 2009 schedule and are not on the new 2010 schedule either. I hope it gets new ownership with deep pockets but it's a big investment for such few races in a very short racing season up here.

I'll have to study the situation a bit more and talk to some of the drivers that live nearby me to get a better idea on the upsides vs. downsides so far.

Back to the topic, something tells me though that it's best if the CFL stays 100% independant even if we lose some players. We have many huge success stories we can always point to such as Flutie, Henley, Mosca, Moon, Lancaster, Theismann and a bazilion others

So long as players do not leave their CFL clubs mid year or out of the provisions of their contracts (option year window), I'm ok with the current arrangement.

If future arrangements involve CFL players being the property of a given NFL club with the option for the NFL club to call the player up at any time, I may begin to lose interest in the CFL. I would find this arrangement to have compromised the integrity of the competition in a given year if star CFLers go missing mid year for reasons other than personal issues or injury.

It would be interesting if trades and transfers could be agreed between NFL and CFL teams. Free agency and the option window could be maintained as per the status quo but a team like the Tiger-Cats, could trade a player to the Bills mid-contract and mid-season for a lump of cash. The league could skim off the top and the rest of the transfer fee could go into practice facilities, stadium upgrades or attracting new young talent.

Maybe instead of keeping a prospect on an NFL practice squad, his salary could be paid for in part or whole by an NFL team while he plays out a whole season with a CFL team. That I suppose would be treading on farm system. I definitely wouldn't want to see said player plucked back mid-season.

This is a great deal for the NFL. Players are developed, easily scouted, and signed with no real cost to the NFL. Millions of dollars were spent on NFL Europe. Those dollars are now being saved. Should the NFL pay the CFL a fee for each player signed ? Probably .... but with the money would come the possible perception of a minor league status for the CFL. I understand that the players are free to play where they choose and that's a good thing. If the NFL is bigger and better than anybody else, perhaps they should be paying some of the cost of player development. :smiley:
Pat Lynch(the old guy in section 7)

Whatever that's why these players being signed will be cut by the end of training camp except for one or 2.

Seems like an arrangement that works for both leagues. The CFL signs players who are a risk to short term contracts and if they are picked up by NFL teams they have obviously earned their money. If they don't play well the CFL club can decline to pick up the option. And finally the most common result is that the player earns his pay and the CFL club picks up the option. Realistically the CFL clubs sign players to the term they believe they warrant and plan for the future accordingly. That means that the CFL clubs actually plan to lose players to the NFL and make provisions for that outcome. Its not like the NFL is trying to get players under contract at all.

RE_Is the NFL taking advantage of the CFL? -------- YES IMO the nfl has been encroaching on the CFL,s territory for 40 years!