NFL-CFL talks break down re new agreement

From the Canadian Press:

"CFL commissioner Mark Cohon says the CFL and NFL have ceased talks on a new working agreement between the two leagues.

The NFL and CFL first reached a working agreement in 1997 that included the NFL loaning the CFL US$3 million while gaining a window from which to sign CFL players entering the option year of their Canadian contracts.

Cohon and NFL counterpart Goodell have spoken for months about a new working agreement, but to no avail.

"I sat down with our board of governors and looked at what was on the table and we felt there was nothing there to grow and strengthen our league," Cohon said. "The most important thing that I can do is concentrate on strengthening and growing our league.""

The option-year-to-the-NFL scenario that we have seen over the last number of years will not be in play if there is no deal. It will be interesting to see how this evolves.

Oski Wee Wee,

I know a lot of people don't like the option-year rule because CFL teams lose their players for half the season while the player tries out for NFL teams, but what other option is there?

Remember before this rule was around, the CFL players all wanted 1 year contracts so that they could try their luck in the NFL the following year. The players didn't want to be restricted by multi-year contracts to the CFL. If they had a big year in the CFL and got some interest from the NFL they wanted the chance to chase the big money.

If they didn't catch on down south they were free agents in the CFL, free to sign with ANY team. So the old way you weren't assured of getting your players back. The way the current system works you still retain that player's rights. The current system is better because we have less turnover than before.

It's quite obvious to me that the NFL has all the power in this situation. Are they going to let the CFL dictate terms of an agreement to them? Of course not. Just because CFL teams are upset that they lose players doesn't matter at all to the NFL. The NFL will get its way because they don't need the option-year agreement. If the NFL decides it's a waste of time, it's not like CFL players are going to stop taking their shot at the big money of the NFL.

I don't know what kind of an agreement Mr. Cohon is after, but I won't be surprised if the CFL gets very little out of any future agreement.