Anyone who understands modern sports Collective agreements understands that in exchange for lower salaries or caps the owners gave the players back near total control of there careers.
Does Joseph deserve to be among the highest paid? Of course he does. Can the Riders do it and remain competitive? No.
Alot of players on the rider team ( just like any other team winning the cup of their sport ) believes they should get a raise. What do you do when everyone wants more? There is only so much of the pie to go around. Tillman was handcuffed. Jospeph wanted more and the Riders had to choose between one player and a larger core of players. This is not to blame Joseph either. He is simply exercising his rights, this is just business after all. Had Tillman just give KJ a small raise and let him play it out the riders would have had an unhappy player effecting moral and lost him for nothing at the end of the season. If the riders through the bank at him he would have been a star without a supporting cast.
Look at which teams would have been interested in a starting QB. Tillman basically had only Montreal and Toronto that could have been in the Market.
On a side note ask yourself why didn't the other teams show interest in swapping QB's as was the case when Austin moved on back in his days as a QB? Each of those GM's could argueably critized for not taking a shot at KJ then? Or is it that The other GM's saw the same situation as Tillman?
Now Back to Tillman. Given that only Toronto was willing to take him Tillman wasn't in a very good position to bargain. For Canuck fans look at Loungo's trade to Vancouver. Florida had to let him go for what they could given that Loungo had to approve where he landed. Florida really didn't have much to bargain with. If they played hard ball with him Loungo would have played it out and left for nothing. Now back to KJ - this is sports and this happens. If it was 2 years ago when more teams were looking for a starting QB we could have gotten the farm for him. That was then this was now. I mourn my Riders loosing KJ but I don't blame either him or Tillman. It is after all business and this is part of the game.