Ottawa deal with Hebert is REJECTED***

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The Canadian Football League has rejected the Ottawa Renegades' contract proposal to linebacker Kyries Hebert, sending the team back to the drawing board.

The Renegades and Hebert agreed last week on a five-year deal that could be worth a total of $1 million, and the first two years of the deal, worth $300,000, were guaranteed. That sent rival CFL clubs into a frenzy and prompted action by commissioner Tom Wright, who told Renegades president Lonie Glieberman not to register the deal with the league office during executives' meetings in Las Vegas last week.

The league awaits official paperwork from the Renegades, which could be filed this week, CFL director of communications Alexis Redmond said.

Reached yesterday in northern Michigan, where he runs a ski resort, Glieberman said little about the controversy other than offering optimism that Hebert, who tied for the CFL lead in special-teams tackles in 2005, would soon be in the fold. He did not, however, pledge to revoke the guaranteed portions of Hebert's deal.

"We're working with the league and with Kyries and we expect to have everything resolved," he said. "We don't expect any problems, and we expect Kyries will be a Renegade for the next five years."

Guaranteed money is tantamount to the Bogeyman for football teams. None of the three professional leagues in North America routinely offer such pledges, as opposed to Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League, because it is thought to remove motivation for the individual player and, most importantly, because teams want to be able to cut players at any time without consideration of the financial consequences.

In Hebert's case, Wright invoked a CFL rule that allows the commissioner to reject a contract if he believes it's bad for the league. There was some consideration that, if the Renegades went belly-up, the league and its remaining teams would be on the hook for the guaranteed portion of Hebert's contract.

Also, rival teams feel the deal would be precedent-setting, leading more accomplished players to demand guaranteed money when the free-agency period starts in mid-February.

"I feel it's something more players will be looking for and I think that's what the league had a problem with," Hebert said yesterday from Houston. "They didn't want to open the floodgates."

Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Doug Brown predicted exactly that. In his weekly column for the Winnipeg Free Press, Brown wrote: "What really makes your head spin and catches the interest of every single viable free agent in Canada, though, is the fact that (Hebert's) first two years are guaranteed. ... Guaranteed contracts are the Shangri-la to all footballers."

Hebert, 25, could make the deal worth $1 million if he reaches every incentive bonus.

In 2005, he emerged as an important cog in the Renegades defence and one of the CFL's top special-teams players. The big-money pact and guarantees were designed to fend off as many as 10 NFL suitors

More like Hugh Campbell rejected this deal, because everyone and their mother knows that he runs the league, and Wright is just there as a hand puppet. He doesn't like the fact that another team is spending cash.

I dont see why the league should have a say in that matter.

......because of exactly what Gades said, Braley and Campbell probably got on the blower to Wright the second this leaked out and told him this type of contract is bad for the league because now all the A-Team players will ask for the same treatment........guarenteed contracts could prove hazardous to a lot of clubs......

Maybe, but I dont think they should have the power to stop it.

....but it is bad for the league.......it's like NFL contracts........everyone says Owens is a whiny brat for complaining his contract isn't worth his talent level......aside from the fact the guy is an arrogant jerk whose head needs to be covered in vasoline to cram it into his helmet, he is right.......his $49 million over seven years contract is only as good as his last paycheque......as are everyone else's contracts in the NFL/CFL/AFL........this allows a team to can a player without having to pay out the remainder on his contract, just what he has earned to date.......

Agreed. But that decision should be up to the team and not the league.
If a team wants to lose that ability it is their choice not the leagues.

The only way I see it being the league's business is if, like they mention in the article, the team goes belly up, and the league becomes responsible for the guaranteed money. I don't know if that's the case, but if it is, I don't think the league would want to have to pay out what could be millions in salary if a team did have financial problems.

if the league thinks that this ownership is going belly up after 2 seasons, then they wouldn't have granted them the franchise. This has Campbell all over it.

The " league" in any sport has the legal right to approve a players contract. The CFL is no different.

...I wonder if all players contracts... for all teams were actually available for all to see......how many other contracts would be null and void.... :roll:

Ridiculous.... Hugh Campbell doesn't like it because he didn't think of it, then got on the horn to Commisioner (assistant to Hugh Campbell) Wright, and told him to nullify it. It is up to the teams to decide if they want to give out guaranteed contracts. As far as I know, there is nothing in the CBA that says anything against it. Another reason why Commisioner (assistant to Hugh Campbell) Wright is a terrible "leader."

When was the last time a contract was voided?? Never comes to my mind.

Agree, it rarely happens. In this case, there was obviously something contrary to the standard players contract. I have read how the player wanted a guarantee by the league for the $ incase the Gades went belly up, so that's why the necessary revision and first decline by the league office in not registering the contract.

this league will continue to be a bush league until they get a commissioner who has ball$ to stand up and take control of the league.

I agree completelty, this is total bullsh*t and may have cost us a key franchise player, one who was entering his prime. This is a pathetic display of the CFL, and it makes me furious. What do people expect when Ottawa is set up to fail. Does the league actually think that we will fold within the next two years if so then whenever they mention expansion they should be laughed at in their faces. What kind of league does this? As a hardcore Gades fan is a very,very,very bitter pill to swallow.

Wright is balls deep now! It is a showdown between the Glibermans and the League. Regardless, realistically speaking, Ottawa’s franchise is now doomed no matter what perspective one may have. As I have said since June, the Glibermans would permanently stain Wright’s tenure as commissioner and mark the end of the period of resurgence for the CFL. Should have done your due diligence Tom; did anyone not tell you that a leopard does not change its spots.

Does this mean now that any team can stop another team from aquiring players, if they feel they have paid too much for them, or feel they would be at an advantage, by complaining to the CFL.

Ottawa is in big trouble with their team, have been for several years, they face extinction, and need all the help they can get. They need strong players to be competitive. Look at what Edmonton did this year, BC has a lot of good players, so does Calgary. Those teams bought their way to where they were this year.

I guess some teams didn't like that Ottawa could be competitive in 06..

Here is a way around it as I see it. Instead of guaranteeing the contract, give him a huge signing bonus equivalent to the quaranteed part of his salary. Signing bonuses are normal so the league surely cant void that. Secondly they could sign him to a normal contract then give him a job in the off season promoting the Gades and quarantee that as he wouldnt be working in a football capacity as far as the CFL is concerned. Part of the contract says he has to live in Ottawa year round so that would definately work. The Eskimos do this all the time. Thirdly if the league is thinking they would be on the hook if the Gades go belly up then make sure that Lonie has an insurance policy in place that would pay the salary if he goes broke. In any case the Gades say they will work it out, Hebert has been quoted as saying that it will work itself out. We wont lose him I am confident of that.

The league has the right to decline contracts, and needs it, because such things affect the league. Why does it never happen? Because most teams know how to manage their team. The Gliebermen (surprise surprise) obviously do not.

Guaranteed contracts may be acceptable in baseball, where the players get gajillions of dollars and owners still make more money than God, but in the CFL there should be no guaranteed contracts, especially from teams as financially unstable as the Renegades.

Suppose the Gliebermen lose 10 million next year and run out of town with their tails between their legs. The league would have to find a new owner who is not only willing to dump a fortune into a team that has very few fans, no support from municipal government, no respect in local media, and is in debt up to their eyeballs, but who is also willing to honour an excessive contract that they did not sign with a player who, though his presence makes the team better, does not single-handedly make the Renegades a good team. I mean, this isn’t Doug Flutie we’re talking about here.

So when they spend a year vainly seeking such an owner – all the while paying for Hebert’s contract themselves – the league will come to the conclusion that the Renegades franchise is no longer viable, and will put it to a merciful death. And while that will not trigger the end of the CFL, it will throw a wrench into the rejuvenation the league has experienced in the past few years, and will more than likely put an end to all talk of expansion. Eight teams, ad infinitim.

Now, does Hebert’s contract alone do all of this? Of course not. But it is one spoke in the wheel that is leading the CFL wagon down that road.

On the other hand, the league may allow a team like Edmonton to offer a guaranteed contract to, say, Ricky Ray, because they know that in a worst case scenario the Eskimos will still exist when that contract expires, and will still be packing them in and still making money even if they have to pay a starting QB salary to a guy who’s delivering Fritos.