Managing the Cap

It's gotta be tough managing the cap all the while trying to sign players.
Just for kicks I did a mock-up.

46 man rosters. 5.2 mil cap

Offense: 12 Starters. In this model the QB is at $450,000

o-line (5): $790,000
RB (2) $220,000
QB: $450,000

Offense Total: $2,000,000

Kicker (1): $150,000

Returner: $115,000

Total: $2,265,000


DB ( 5) : $600,000
LB (3): $400,000
D-line (4): $590,000

Defense Total: $1,590,000

24 Starter Total:$3,855,000

Remaining 20 players: -Includes B/U QB, O-Line and D-line rotations, 5 receiver, special teams , spares etc: $1,345,000 ( average $67,000 so a lot of these guys are at minimum)

No matter how you break it down its tough.

Give it a try...or comment...or both.

When managing the cap, you also have to take into account a budget/funds for players on 1 game injured list and players on practice roster. In terms of total players your talking at least 53, i.e. 46 active players, average of 4 on 1 game injured list and the 10 or so players on practice roster represent an average of 3 players. All these costs go against/are part of the max. cap.


Agreed. There are so many ways to break this down. For example, some like to put their money on D into the DL with the philosophy that you don't need a stellar secondary because pressure makes them look better. Some like a secondary that covers well and makes the QB go through many reads. Some like a balanced look. Personally, I believe in heavier pressure.

I think the one consistent staple is OL. Not many teams that have a weak line excel in the CFL. That said, I think 190 is on the high end. The Stampeders are a glowing example of this. They will pay for their nationals some, but internationals, no way. Last season they let Dennis walk, the most outstanding lineman. They didn't want to do that, and Huf was pretty open about that, but it wasn't in the budget. Yeah, he had a bad year (I believe a tweeked back in camp lingered all season and contributed to that, as well as simply not being a great fit with a brand new to the CFL OL coach), but he was still the MOL when the Stamps let him walk. Why? because they have their pipeline established. They will bring a guy in and get him worked out and ready (or send him packing). They have the next guy ready at a discount. They will spend a fraction on a LT knowing that he may be gone in a few years. He will make 80k, and then maybe up to 150, after that he is gone. The RT makes even less. So lets be generous and say 300k for your 2 OTs (I think you can get closer to 250). 140 for a RG, 170 for a LG, 150 for a C. that is 710-760.

Long term success in the CFL means recruiting imports, because that is where you need to save money. put it into your Canadian depth. Not just starters, but depth. You absolutely need to have a couple spots you are saving money. For me, on D I would be saving it on middle LB or a DT and in inside DB. On O, one OT each season. By rolling the dice a bit there and having faith in your recruiting you can put 150k somewhere else anally. The returner would never break 80k.

Your Starting lineup may be a tad on the high side(IMHO), but, Well done, thanks for posting!

That's why many players end up on the 9 or now 6 game injured list even if they are capable of returning to the roster earlier. This is something Ambrosie said he was going to keep a close eye on last year if I remember, because it is a breach with the CFLPA to ask a player to "faint injury" it also impacts their value therefore negotiating down the line. Some GM are guilty of this more than others.

I think your back up QB usually takes a fair chunk as a non starter category and could or in some cases should be your second highest paid on the team .

I wasn't sure if players who are on practice roster are counted against the cap. Still not sure if they are.
But regardless...when we put our pen to paper we can soon see how hard it is to manage such a low cap number and maintain continuity.

Makes you realize how teams catch a 'break" when an impact rookie making $53,000 like Wilder, can open things up elsewhere.

And I totally agree a teams philosophy drives their cap plans and where to spend their money. They definitely need a plan going in and some discipline.

Hank...yep the B/U QB will take a chunk of the non starter money as will the 5 th receiver and top rotational D-line guys too I suspect. Just adds up to a lot of guys at minimum.

Yes, players on practice rosters do count against the cap.. They may receive between $900.00 and $1,000.00 per game. A few exceptions could get more. Based on the 18 games schedule, the total yearly costs of practice roster players should range between $180,000 and $204,000.


A small nitpik but it is a week stipend, not per game. These are paid every week the player spends on the PR, regardless if the team plays or not.

If either of you (or any of you) have the time or interest it would be interesting to see your mock-up of managing your virtual cap. It's a thought provoking task. Makes you think about things in a different way at times.

It would be fun but since 90 percent of the salaries are completely unknown and the injured list is used extensively, it is impossible to do without making complete guesses. One of my major beefs with this league and their lack of transparency.

No, it is actually 750/week, unless there has been a CBA amendment that I am unaware of. Note that this is per week, not game, meaning that they will get it through byes.

That said, that is a minimum, and a significant contingent of players get more than that, some approaching full salary. This makes it impossible to state exactly what a team pays on the PR over the season.

The also get housing allowance, which the league is very murky about.

Well existing salaries don't matter in this exercise. It's just a matter of saying.."if I had to put together a full roster with a 5.2 Mil cap what would it look like?" from strictly your point of view. Where would I put the 5.2

not too small IMO. let's assume that a team carries exactly 10 all season, which most pretty much do. We will ignore the 30 expanded rosters (+5). That equates to a minimum of an an additional 22,500 against a cap. Pretty unlikely every member is at 750/week, so it is going to be higher.

Every bit counts in the CFL SMS, just moving to a 3 by week eats 7500.00 of the 50k cap increase.

Indeed, and that was in my 22500 count.