Justin Dunk: CFL directing teams to limit player salaries to cap floor in 2021

The CFL office and board of governors have identified one new way to reduce the financial obligations for a potential 2021 season that involves reducing player salaries.

According to sources, the league’s power brokers and presidents are discussing and working to execute an idea to limit total player compensation, even if the union doesn’t want to amend the current collective bargaining agreement. The CFL and CFLPA haven’t talked about player compensation for next year, yet.

The current CBA runs until the beginning of training camp in the spring of 2022. Included in the current framework is a salary cap of $5.35 million. It’s never been identified that the minimum expenditure for teams around the league was set at $4.75 million for 2021. That’s exactly how franchises can save $600,000 each and $5.4 million total without any negotiation.

At the league level, the member clubs are proposing that each president sign an agreement to ensure spending to the salary cap floor is enforced. However, that would require the honour system and could create compliance issues.

The football operations cap has been trimmed by 20 percent from just under $2.59 million to $2 million or the equivalent of over $500,000 per team. Add together the general managers, coaches, scouts, equipment people and video personnel savings with the players and it totals nearly $10 million — significant money in the CFL.

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Spending to the floor is definitely a way to save on player's payroll without the union since the floor has already been approved by both parties. I don't see how it can be enforced on each team if wants to spend above but still well below the cap.

Eugene Melnyk has been operating this way for years :)... (though he's spending money recently), many NHL teams will be spending to the floor and have internal budgets too.

I wonder how the BC Lions and CGY are going to get to the floor when Reilly and Bo Levi are making $725K and $700K respectively
Could sign a bunch of Global players @ $54K


Derek Taylor does not believe the league would broadcast the intent of collusion and actually implement this plan. Instead, he thinks the story leaked out as a way for the owners to remind the Players Association which side has the muscle.

Arash Madani though, actually believes the owners will go through with the idea. Not only that, he suspects the owners have no respect for the players, and this is just the beginning of a trend where it will be awhile before the current salary cap maximum returns. Madani does however, question whether the teams can refrain from going over the minimum if spending a little more means a better chance at winning more games.

I agree with Taylor on some level, there is no way this can be enforced within the owners. I'm sure some will want to spend to the floor and would the like the others to followed suit but can't make them.

At the same time collusion is too strong of the term. The floor was agreed upon in the CBA so if coincidentally all 9 teams spend at or not much above that level I don't think there is much the PA can do.

The floor protects the players while the cap protects the owners...from themselves.

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If this is true there would be serious fireworks with players
It's also (probably) illegal under many provincial laws

Farhan Lalji thinks it would be collusion if the idea is implemented with rules and penalties.

Yeah I think if the league tries to make this enforceable with penalties involved, I could see grounds for collusion.

On the other hand as Naylor suggests, this something allowed by individual teams in the existing CBA and actually any CBA that has a cap, has a floor too. If it's simply a case of teams sharing with each other as a place to reduce player costs and then let others do as they see fit, I don't see anything wrong here.

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Really hope this will not be the case. This league has suffered enough black eyes in the past few months, and doesn't need anymore

Leave it to 3Downnation to bring it to forefront via Arash Madani of Sportsnet.

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The NHL allows their teams to operate to the Cap floor. Nobody crying foul over that. The NFL on the other hand, has a salary cap, but they have to spent to the amount allowed.

Other pro sports would kill to have a twenty-something percent earmarked for player salaries from total revenues. The CFL is wise to not broach the fifty percent share like the other pro leagues operate under.

Yeah this seems nothing more than Midani and Dunk grinding their axe against the league again. Naylor has already thrown cold water on this.

Funny how people complain when teams contemplate spending to the floor. Without a floor they can spend even less in lean times


The NFL also has a salary floor and teams can spend that amount, it’s just that most choose not to.

There is no floor in the NFL. All teams must spend to the ceiling. If teams decided to be frugal, Green Bay would disappear because it is a small market.

Not true. The NFL has a cap floor. And teams do not have to spend to the ceiling. In fact, to take things even further, the entire league as a whole doesn’t have to “spend” to the cap.

Not sure how Green Bay would disappear even if there wasn’t a cap floor (which again, to reinterate there definitely is).

Most NFL team's salary cap carries dead/bad contracts and restructured long-term contracts to get them to the ceiling. Now some NHL teams have "weaponized" their salary cap to gain high draft picks and blue chip prospects like Arizona and Detroit.

Green Bay wouldn't exist without the salary Cap, revenue sharing and the expensive concession prices for beer and hot dogs.

Again, teams don’t need to be at the ceiling of the cap. That’s not true.

Revenue sharing is definitely a great tool to help smaller markets, but it’s a different matter and has nothing to do with a salary cap.

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I just found out that NFL have spent 95% of their salary cap since 2013

Excellent. That is a requirement in the NFL collective agreement that ensures that players receive their full allotment of revenues for the duration of the agreement. But thats the league, not the individual teams themselves. I mentioned this a few posts back.

Individual teams have a salary floor, and a salary cap. The cap floor isn’t really an issue in the NFL, as most teams are constantly working to stay under the cap.
However, as stated before, a salary floor does exist in the NFL.

I thought that you meant the NHL