Rethinking the Canadian draft. Should the NFL and CFL talk?

I tried to do my due diligence and check to see if this thread had been started before and was unable to find one with its intent. If it has my apologies.
My concerns are centered on the signing of Canadian top draft picks by the NFL clubs. I believe the NFL had recently (I think it was last year) increased their player pool available to each team by 10 players. If they do this a couple of more times their potential strangle hold on talented graduating football player in the US and Canada will be substantial.
I believe the NFL doesn’t see the CFL as competition but more likely their unofficial farm league. Perhaps it’s time we recognize this and became their hybrid farm league. NFL teams could send several of their players down for evaluation rather than having them sit on some of their waiting lists. In such a scenario CFL teams would receive not only monetary support but as well potentially some of our Canadian high draft picks, who were picked up by NFL teams, could stay here and play on a CFL team while their NFL team evaluates their play. If the NFL team deemed them not to their liking they would then let the CFL team pick up their rights. This type of arrangement or some variant could benefit both leagues if properly thought out. I feel that in any type of agreement the independence of the CFL would need to be respected!
Another option may be to have players who wish to be listed in the CFL Canadian player draft have their listing be conditional on signing a letter of intent to play in the CFL for a minimum of two years if chosen by a CFL team. This would then exclude players that want to try for the NFL first from being included in the draft and would restore meaning and importance to the draft order a CFL team had. I would be interested in hearing other people's points of view on this subject.

The current relationship is fine.

I do not, under any circumstances, want the CFL to be come a farm league of any kind.

There is plenty of football talent. Canadian talent has never been deeper.

agreed CK.

A farm league of any sort, with countless players alternating between leagues every two minutes, would tarnish the game irreparably IMO.
Player recognition is difficult enough as is.

a conditional CFL Draft listing option or some form of commitment assurance, may be a possible avenue of protection for clubs who possess risky high draft picks.

While I don't, in principle, agree with your farm league suggestion, I think it is an interesting suggestion. Perhaps, with some tweaking, it might work?

About your other idea regarding committing to the draft, again while it does sound great in principle, what happens to those players who don't commit to the draft and that aren't signed by an NFL team? Are they then free agents able to sign with any CFL team? If that were the case, CFL teams could by-pass the intent of the draft, and sign top prospects (under the table, of course) with a proviso that they don't commit to the draft. Those players would then be property of the CFL team who cheated (worked the system to their advantage), assuming they didn't sign in the NFL.

Oooohh, my head hurts. I better stop typing now. :lol:

[b]Mikefrmthhammer wrote: About your other idea regarding committing to the draft, again while it does sound great in principle, what happens to those players who don't commit to the draft and that aren't signed by an NFL team? Are they then free agents able to sign with any CFL team? If that were the case, CFL teams could by-pass the intent of the draft, and sign top prospects (under the table, of course) with a proviso that they don't commit to the draft. Those players would then be property of the CFL team who cheated (worked the system to their advantage), assuming they didn't sign in the NFL. [/b]
IMO, that type of scenario may occur in isolated cases, although most agents worth a salt would (or should) counsel clients to enter the FA sweepstakes and weigh options thereafter.

even those who have specific team preference would likely be advised to receive all tenders to improve leverage in negotiation and salary demands, preceding any acceptance to the desired team.

Yes, but that still defeats the purpose of the draft in the first place, which is to give each team a chance at the best available talent and bringing parity to the league.

:wink:

yes, it is a conundrum for certain.
at the same time, parity remains compromised as the poorest teams pick ahead of the most powerful, yet run a great risk of losing the highly rated pick to the NFL, while formidable teams are not likely to experience similar predicaments.

Thanks for the comments, there have been some good points made! I agree that an NFL, CFL agreement would require some work and the potential stigma attached with the CFL league being a farm league for the NFL may be too much for people to stomach. However committing to the Canadian draft by signing a letter of intent to play for two years in the CFL if selected by a team may be a viable option if the ruling in the CFL were to specify that teams could only choose Canadian players from the draft, or those cut by a team or traded. Any player not signing on would have to wait till next year’s draft and then once again sign a letter of intent to be considered for selection in the CFL. Just a thought.

I wouldn't want the CFL to become a farm system for the NFL. It's a separate league with its won set of rules, and that's how I like it. While the smaller Canadian maket and the accompanying salary cap mean that we can't compete with the NFL for the best players, either Canadian or American, it remains a highly entertaining game - more entertaining than the NFL, IMO. If it were to become part of an NFL farm system, then there would most likely be a push by the NFL to change the league to use their rules, and then to eliminate the import rule to make more room for their developing players. So, no thanks.

The biggest problem with the Canadian draft is that many of the top Canadian players are drafted or signed by NFL teams before the draft happens. Drafting those players is a huge risk to CFL teams, as they wouldn't be available until late in the season (after NFL training camp) at the earliest, or possibly years later (e.g. Giguere), if ever. So teams tend to pass over the very top players in favour of the undrafted players in the first round or two.

Maybe the solution is to have two Canadian drafts, one for players with NFL commitments and one for those without. The first draft ends up similar to the neg list, more of a futures list, where the second draft would include players who would more than likely show up for training camp.

Or the league continues with the draft as is. After all, it's the same for all teams, and it's up to the teams to determine what the risks are.

What is it with peoples obsession to turn Canadian things into 2nd rate American things? It's a unique and incredible league as it is so why would anyone want the NFL's boring and backward brain involved with the CFL?

If people are so obsessed with the US and their sports leagues then they should move there and leave Canada to those that love their own nation.

I don't tend to follow drafts and such but is this really a problem ? I somehow do not think the NFL is taking a big number of Canadian players and the ones in consideration are wanting to go to the NFL ...

I am thinking if you handcuff a player to the CFL that may want to try his hand at the NFL that player just might ignore the CFL completely to go give it a shot and you'd see MANY high level Canadians following that trend because alot of them would love to break into the NFL

It's possible it could hurt the talent pool of the Canadian draft

in a related subject,the CFL has now decided to expand its annual college draft from 6 to 7 rounds, commencing next week.
Could this have been implemented to help offset the recent pre-draft NFL signings as of late?
quite possible.

[b][u]CFL decides to expand its annual college draft[/u]

The CFL has expanded its annual draft from six to seven rounds.

This year’s draft will be held Monday.

Hamilton will make the first selection of the seventh round.

Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Montreal, BC, Calgary and Toronto will complete the order of selection.

“The talent of football in Canada is the strongest it’s ever been,? said Kevin McDonald, CFL vice-president of football operations. “And with this increase in the depth of Canadian talent, we wanted to ensure our teams had an increased opportunity to draft, train and coach Canadian players.?

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/football/cfl-decides-to-expand-its-annual-college-draft/article11653626/]http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/f ... e11653626/[/url][/b]

Lots of points to ponder. I think that out of this what should happen is more involved discussion with both leagues as the fact is gridiron, pro gridiron, is really only played at the more serious level professionally in the NFL and CFL. These two leagues need to work together and come to the best agreement possible with the intent of encouraging high level Canadians that may not be NFL material to continue to play after college in the CFL for whatever reason, to be the best they can be, to win a GC or just to play to try and impress an NFL team to take a look at them. Doesn’t matter, soccer is going to get bigger in NA and the NFL and CFL need to work together for the betterment of gridiron.

The CFL is not and should not ever become a farm league. If it ever does, Grey Cups will be decided by NFL GMs calling up and sending guys down to and from the CFL.

The CFL is NOT a minor league.

The CFL has had agreements (very recently) with the NFL, on player's movements between the two leagues. the latest of these agreements was not renewed a couple of years ago when the CFL was very unhappy with new commissioner Goodell's attitude towards our league and our game.

The only rules that I know of currently that governs player movement between leagues are between the CFL and the CFLPA. These are: that a player is allowed to try out and/or move to an NFL club in the option year of his contract during which time his CFL team retains his CFL rights, and that the only way that a player on a CFL roster may move to an NFL roster mid-season is if he is released AND he clears waivers making him an FA.

These rules are fine.

As for Canadian players getting drafted to either league and players with NFL contracts being 'loaned' to CFL rosters, I do not like this idea in the slightest. You want players to have rights? Scrap drafts and give them free agency. Further still, scrap college eligibility rules and force NCAA schools to pay their players or get out of the business, leave the business to minor pro. THEN you will see huge development opportunities AND multiple career paths for many many more players.

CFL it's our game and leave it that way.

So, Hamilton having the first draft pick shies away from talented Canadian players already picked by NFL teams because they need immediate help. They pick a player who the NFL has not signed. This then puts the picked player on the NFL radar. An NFL club invites him to an evaluation camp and then signs him. You have to admire the irony.
The CFL combine and the various other evaluations that lead to player positioning in the Canadian draft are available to NFL teams. All these teams need to do is let us rate the players then invite them to their trial camps.
If the CFL wishes to restore value and meaning to a CFL team’s draft order they need to have players who participate in the draft indicate that they will indeed report to the teams that draft them. If a player has NFL aspirations that’s fine and dandy. These players then should not participate in that year’s Canadian draft. They can enter the draft the following year after they have exhausted their NFL options. Life is about making choices. This needs to be one of them. Here’s a thought. What if the NFL teams increase their training camp rosters from 90 to 100 in a couple of years!

Exactly!! If this had been the case with Gaydosh, we would have at least had the guy for a couple of seasons and if he still wanted to go south, then that's his choice. At least we wouldn't have wasted our first round pick.

Great concept if it can work. The way the draft is formatted now, it puts all the advantage on the players' side as they have the opportunity to be drafted high up in the draft but yet, can still say "so long, I'm going elsewhere". This makes it diffucult for those teams that have first round picks as it becomes a crap shoot whether or not to pick this guy or that one as neither may stay here.

if the CFL wishes to restore value and meaning to a CFL team’s draft order they need to have players who participate in the draft indicate that they will indeed report to the teams that draft them. If a player has NFL aspirations that’s fine and dandy. These players then should not participate in that year’s Canadian draft. They can enter the draft the following year after they have exhausted their NFL options.
this could certainly be a viable option as it maintains a draft system that still benefits the disenfranchised teams picking high in the order from wasting picks, as well as prevents free agent anarchy for players of rookie status that do not stick in the NFL.
Here’s a thought. What if the NFL teams increase their training camp rosters from 90 to 100 in a couple of years!
quite possible and likely probable at some point in the future. and only 51 players count towards the cap. The rest is gravy.