I like some of his ideas on it. Below his ideas with some thoughts of my own.
Bring NFL window back: makes a good point that a two year commitment for possibly 53k/yr is too much time commitment for US players to come up, while the CFL loses very few players each yr
Neg List: Naylor says get rid of it. Opens free agency. Good arguments on both sides. For me why not reduce the number of neg list players each team can have, or set # of years that a player can be on a neg list.
Raise Min $75k: Current is $53k (not bad for 6 months of work) However combined with a two year commitment the CFL could be losing out on players. The likely hood the CFLPA would agree to a change that limits veteren dollars under cap is unlikely.
Bring in Restricted Free agency: After 2 years players are unrestricted. Naylor suggests that a player should be in the league for min 4 years before being unrestricted. For the first 4 years a team has the right to match. Reason, teams invest in the training of young players only to see them walk as they get comfortable in the league. I like this as it would reduce some player turn over.
Cdn QB: Naylor has the Cdn Qb count as a Cdn starter when playing but not as part of the 20 on the active roster. I thought this makes since. You don't lose a cdn roster spot by a team burying a cdn Qb as a backup, but rewards the team if the player is starting with an extra open roster spot.
Min 3 Cdn starters each side of ball: reduce the inflated contracts of Cdn Olinemen. Teams generally run avg 4 Cdn starters on line.
I like most of these. And I think it could help the league. We would have to wait, as most of these would have to be part of the next CBA.
My only other suggestion would be to bring in some limited guaranteed contracts for veterans. Players that have played 5 years in the league. This would hopefully reduce some of the veteran turn over.
Also, have player bonuses paid out on first day of rosters being set for regular season. Connect it to the current season. Not sure how to fix this issue. It never looks good. either way. Players can get their signing bonuses and walk away the next day.
On first impression, I like all of these suggestions.
I think raising the minimum to 75k is overdue. But it would have to come, I think, along with a raise in the cap to give teams a chance to adjust the pay scale over the entire roster.
I also like bringing back the option year NFL window, but I would just add that if a player signs in the NFL between years 2 and 3 in his contract, then the CFL team retains his rights for that 3rd year if the player later returns to the CFL. I also would like to see the league negotiate some kind of transfer fee going from the NFL team that signs the player to the CFL team losing him, or maybe 50% going to the team and 50% going to some CFLPA fund or something like that.
I agree to bring back the NFL option window for all players in the offseason before the final season of their contract. Some teams got around this clause by mainly signing rookies who were willing to sign 3-year entry-level contracts (tying rookies to the team for a minimum of 2 years). I'd like to see minimum 2-year contracts for all players, reducing the turnover of players to other teams.
Why not have a draft of U.S. players just like the Canadian draft, along with a reduced neg list? For example, teams could be required to release drafted players if unsigned after 5 years, with neg-lister's released after 3 years? i.e. 30 drafted Americans (5 yrs X 6 rounds) + 15 Neg-Listers. A U.S. draft would create much media coverage on both sides of the border, while becoming more transparent with the fans.
About half the players in the league reportedly are playing for near minimum salary. Than is an economic reality in the CFL. I believe virtually every player who'd sign for $75k would still sign if the minimum was $60k. So make the min. $60k which is not bad money for a player's first job after college for only 6 months "work".
I fully support restricted free agency for <5 year players with team's able to match offers to keep young players they've developed.
Many pundits don't want to count backup National QB's in the ratio...in the belief that teams might sign a token Canadian QB just to fill a roster spot for a player who's unlikely to play? I frankly don't buy that. Treat National QB's like any other player, in the ratio. So what if that leaves only 20 National players for other positions instead of 21. Many of those National players rarely get legitimate playing time under current regulations. Having one as your backup QB might open up more playing time for the remaining Nationals?
I have long suggested that teams should be required to start a minimum of 3 or 4 Nationals on defence and offence. This would force teams to draft and develop more National defenders. Over time this would improve the talent level of all National players (drafting the best offensive and defensive players, not just primarily OL-men).
I'm not sure your idea of guaranteed contracts for veterans, pw77, is an area that football teams would want to go to? It's a rough game and some players might slack off in training camp or if they suffer a minor injury, for example. Veterans currently have their salary and bonuses guaranteed for the remainder of the season if they're on the roster on Labour Day (or thereabouts).
I like the idea of paying out signing bonuses after the preseason, ensuring the player will show up for training camp and not skip out after getting their bonus.
$75k is long overdue. And it's not six months work. These guys MUST stay in shape all year round. I present to you The Grind as evidence. This isn't the 1960s when some guys would show up to camp fat and out of shape. Pros need to be on top of their game all year.
I agree with some of Dave Naylor's ideas. (1) Bring the minimum up to $75,000. (2) Get rid of the neg list. (3) I could go either way on the 2 year deal for the NFL window, but if the minimum salary was up to $75,000 I could go with the present set up. (4) Canadian QB to count as one of the 21 roster players. Of course as others have pointed out it would all have to be worked out with CFLPA. But the minimum salary bump would be a big give to the Players Union.
The rest of the proposals IMO should not be implemented.
Agree with getting rid of the negotiation list . If the guys a free agent elsewhere it's buyer beware and whoever entices the guy north have at it .
Don't agree with Canadian QB idea he should count on the quota whether he plays or not . Bury him if you want but he counts as a Canadian .
I can take or leave the 75k . It's a substantial raise . Let the economics dictate .
I don't agree with the NFL window . Just allow one year deals for newbies . Let's just honour contracts as they are worded . If they are free agents and they go to the highest bidder the NFL so be it but no longer have escape clauses in the league it looks bush .
As far as unrestricted or restricted free agents after 2 or 5 years . Let the market dictate with the cap . The best GM will fill out his roster . I don't believe in any restriction after the contract is up no matter how many years in the league . It's a level playing field with the cap no need with such a small cap to work with anyways .
Treat the player well and he will resign with the team with adequate compensation if not he will find a new home somewhere else .
I will only comment on the suggestion of increasing the minimum salary to $75,000.-In 2018, the minimum salary will be: $54,000.-
While no one is against increasing the minimum salary to $75,000,it is unrealistic to think that the impact/additional costs will only be $280,000, as Dave Naylor wrote. You cannot increase the minimum by roughly 40% and think that only the players earning less than $75,000 will be affected; players earning between $75,001 and $96,000-there are many- will also want/request a major increase as will all players. For me, the impact/addition will not be less than $750,000 and as much as $900,000. The CFL teams, could not afford these increases, unless there are increases in TV deals and/or ticket prices.
In 2017, the average yearly salary in Canada was $50,290. Many,many,many Canadians earned much less than $54,000 in 2017 and it will be so in 2018. Again, don't think that I am against an increase to the minimum, but you have to be realistic.
Once the discussions begin for the 2019 and beyond collective agreement, the minimum salary increase will definitely be amongst the requests. We will then add more comments, but presently I don't even think that a minimum salary of $75,000 will be agreed/approved. I expect more a minimum ranging between $60,000 and $65,000.
I think he's got this one exactly backwards. His recommendation has all the negatives that resulted is the QBs being excluded from the ratio years ago, but misses the main benefit. Say you start a national QB. If he gets injured, one of the international backup QBs comes in, meaning that one of the other international starters needs to come out of the game to be replaced by a national player. Really messes with the ratio. And the team still doesn't get an extra designated international.
I'm thinking a better approach would be to include the #1 and #2 QBs in the roster count, but still exclude them from the starter count. Having a national #1 or #2 QB would give teams an extra DI, while not impacting the starting lineup in the case of injury. Excluding the third stringer would prevent teams from sticking an unqualified Canadian there, similar to the way the third stringer being excluded from kicking duties prevents teams today from saying their international kicker is a QB.
#2 - there is no draft for international players...I like that there is some sort of system to look at prospects. I wouldn't mind if they changed it so perhaps they could not neg list them before say the 3rd year...but I suppose that would be punishing teams for doing their homework. If a team has a player on a neg list and another team wants a crack at them they are often fairly open to swapping. IMO you need something there...a draft seems unlikely, but if there is an alternative to neg list...great.
#6...why mess with flexibility? Is flexibility not a good thing and does it not promote wider spread of national recruiting? If it was a 3/3 + 1 other on one side, it seems like a formula to really pigeonhole ratio practices. If I had to have 3/3+1 I am going to have 1S, 2DL, 3OL and 1WR every time. The only variance MIGHT be 1 DT to MLB, and that would probably be because of injury. I am very unlikely to ever look at a RB or more than 1 WR spot, I am very unlikely to look at a Singleton or Konar at LB. Mandating positions just spreads the national premium a slight bit more, but that premium is already going to 7-9 players as a pool. I think the thing it would hurt the most is Canadian WRs and then RBs (which have been on the rise for a number of years)
Jumping the min. salary from $53k to $75k could present budget problems - particularly for teams not generating huge money from season tix & walk-ups.
Perhaps get it into the $60s though - say $64k, perhaps even guaranteeing 50% of the money against cuttage or injury.
Another wild idea - perhaps each franchise contributes a set amount to bonuses (all-star, performance, etc.) - say $150,000 each - that's $1.25 million
Thus no monkey business with bonuses - it would be league-controlled
Of course certain teams can bust the salary cap up pretty good - examples = housing allowances under the table, Joe's Plumbing giving the guy a $100k advertising contract to do a half hour job in a TV studio, and the old reliable 'Cash under the table'....