Riders currently Over the CAP?

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Saskatchewan/2007/08/18/4428009-sun.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 9-sun.html[/url]

In a bitter twist of irony for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the community-owned franchise could be stung by the CFL salary cap.

In a perfect world, the $4.05-million cap - which apparently will be enforced this year - should help the small-market Riders compete with the cash-rich big boys of the league, like the Edmonton Eskimos.

But belted with a massive number of injuries - 16 players on injury lists this week - the Riders are staring danger in the face.

Granted, five of those hurt players are on the nine-game injured list, meaning the salary doesn't count toward the cap.

But the other 11 players do count.

"If we are going to get under we are going to have to make some tough moves," said Jim Hopson, the Riders' CEO and president, on the salary cap. "And Eric and I have been talking about that. We are hoping to start getting healthy here and start reducing the number of guys we got on the injury list.

"It is going to be a challenge for us. I am not going to kid anybody."

Nobody within the Rider organization is talking about the exact financial numbers with the payroll.

It also has to be noted that teams don't have to be at the magical $4.05-million number until Week 18, the end of the regular season.

But if these injuries persist and the Riders end up being $300,000 over the cap, that will be a $500,000 fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick in 2008.

That would be a tough pill to swallow for a team that didn't go after big-money free agents in the off-season and actually convinced big-name players to take pay cuts.

all the more reason for the Riders to pass on Keith

The thing that impresse me on this fact is that the Riders have not been feeling the sting of injuries as bad as other teams. I have been quite impressed with the depth of our backups. I will be interested to see how the upper management tries to solve this one.