Salary Cap Loopholes --> Jesse Lumsden

It would seem to me that Jesse Lumsden will have some things to weigh in deciding whether or not to try the NFL again after this season. This, of course, is assuming he continues to light up the league as he has over the last few weeks.

It seems the biggest selling point in trying the NFL given ever starting is unlikely, is the chance to secure an NFL pension in much the same way Dave Dickenson did.

So when Marcel comes to negotiate later this season in an attempt to secure Jesse long term, what is there to stop the Tiger-Cats from offering a lucrative pension? Would this apply to the salary cap in any way? Can't teams offer players options in 'future money' as a way to get around the salary cap?

So let's say Jesse gets offered a $150,000+ contract at season's end and a guaranteed spot in Canadian sports history... would a competitive retirement plan be enough to keep you here?

Well can the Tiger-Cats or any CFL club make a competative offer to keep young superstars from going south? I for one think the money in this sutuation is much too good to pass up and that Jesse will bolt and maybe crack an active NFL roster most likely never to start.

Also, given the small possibility Jesse ever does start and succeed in the NFL would probably make him even more of a Canadian sports legend...

Please consider that I don't think that a Canadian should have to excel in a big American league to be percieved as a sports legend but this is what the NFL-Hollywood ga ga media in Toronto will make the general public think.

That’s not a bad idea. I think ultimately though if they are going to persuade Jesse to stay they are going to have to push the fact that somethings are worth more than money - at least when he’d know he’s not going to the poor house by staying here, far from it. :wink:

Hi joedavtav:

While you make a good point about trying to offer long-term security to Jesse Lumsden, it would be surprising to see the Ticats or any other CFL team start a precedent by setting up a player with a private pension plan. Since all value received by a player from his CFL team counts against the salary cap, one would guess that the value of any private pension plan provided to a player would have to be pro-rated for each year of the player's contract and included in the team's salary cap each year. If it counts against the salary cap, the teams would have less money to spend on salaries and signing bonuses. Neither the teams nor the players would benefit in such a scenario.

Unfortunately, if an NFL really wants Jesse Lumsden on their team next year, they will succeed in getting him. The only approach the Ticats can take is to put their best multi-year offer out to Lumsden before the NFL signing window opens up at the end of this year. This would send a clear message that the Ticats want Jesse Lumsden on a long-term basis. Lumsden will then have to make a huge decision during the NFL signing window- if an NFL team does not offer him a sizeable bonus with their contract offer, it would tell him that the NFL team does not project him to be one of their top three or four running backs. If that is the case, he would be better off financially to play here rather than languishing on an NFL practice roster.

I'm actually torn on this issue.

  1. I would love to see Jesse succeed in the NFL or at the very least stick around long enough for the pension. However that brings me to,

  2. I really want to see him on the Cats for a very long time.

It's a catch 22 for me.

This will not happen.

You see, the CFL salary cap takes into consideration side-agreements. An enhanced pension is certainly a side-agreement. The Cats would be fined and face forfeited draft picks if Jesse's deal put them over the cap (okay, it's more of a luxury tax than a cap, but you know what I mean).

The ONLY way that Jesse is staying in the CFL is if he can't crack an NFL roster.

As imaginative as the Cats want to be with regards to salary, they will never be able to compete with the NFL.

The salary cap in the CFL is a paltry $4 million dollars. Each team in the NFL has over $109 million USD to play with.

Furthermore, let's say that the Cats offer Jesse $150,000, which is quite a haul in this league. It would still pale in comparison to the $285,000 MINIMUM that he would make in the NFL.

Furthermore, let's say that Jesse uses his charm and could convince an NFL suitor to recognize his years of CFL service. Well, in that case, next year, he would earn a minimum $435,000 playing south of the 49.

In 2007, a player on the practice squad of an NFL team will receive a minimum salary of $4,700.00 per week for the regular season (17 weeks including bye week) plus the playoff weeks (4 weeks). This calculates to a total minimum salary of $108,700.00 if a player is on the practice squad for the entire 2007 season.

If the Ticats were to offer Jesse Lumsden a salary of $150,000.00 per season in the scenario put forward by JustAGuy, it would pale in comparison to the minimum salary of an NFL roster player but it would be higher than the minimum salary of an NFL practice squad player.

Actually, I think his desire to make a NFL roster, even just to sit on the bench is strong enough that he'd take less money down there to do it. It would be his foot in the NFL door. From there it would just be an injury or two before he might have a chance to play regularly and make the big money.

From the decisions he's made in his career thus far, it's obvious he very much wants to make a NFL team. I don't think money (bigger salary, pension, etc.) is going to stop him from pursuing that NFL dream if he gets an opportunity.

An Argo-Cat fan

My concern has always been how the CFL is handling this whole Lumsden situation.

Through every game i’ve watched,announcers and analysts are predicting Jesse Lumsden as the next great CFL star. Now, he has the skills for it that’s true. But what happens now if come February, the guy that you’ve been telling everyone is the future of your league is now in Jacksonville or Houston ?

You’ve essentially just lied to your entire fanbase, and turned off any potential new fans that tuned in to watch him.

Now realistically we can offer Lumsden 200 000 a year. No it’s not the NFL minimum, but a)he’ll be a guaranteed starter b)a known commodity c)his friends and family are all here. Those things u cant buy. Also, 200 000 for 6 months work can afford u a pretty affluent lifestyle. Odds are it’s probably more than what most of us make in a year.

What you're forgetting is that $285,000 is the MINIMUM salary for a roster player. It's not the average. The average NFL player makes $710,000 U.S. greenbacks.

Let's take a look at some of the Running Backs in the NFL. Last year, Edgerrin James made a whopping $ 14,750,770 (Okay, lose the seven million he received as a signing bonus, and he still pocketed $7.75 million).

Tiki Barber made $ 4,250,000. LaDainian Tomlinson made roughly the same as Tiki.

There are 182 Running Backs in the NFL. Together, they made an incredible $246,000,000, which is more than the Gross Domestic Product of 17 countries.

(The salaries for all NFL players totaled 3.2 BILLION dollars last year, which is greater than the GDP of 45 countries, including Monaco, Liberia and the Cayman Islands.)

The average salary of a Running Back in the NFL is $1,350,000.

If Jesse can crack a roster spot, he's heading south. I can't see otherwise.

Guys -- and gals -- this is always assuming that there is an NFL team willing to take a risk with him.

I see no such proof... remember, the NFL sees us as Bush league, and the only reason they haven't put anything in Toronto is the US RICO and other assorted Anti-Trust acts. They also see that Washington cut Lumsden, and that will raise the bar for any other Canadian talent (he was cut by the Redskins, and did well in Canada - obviously Canada defense is really bad for an NFL reject to shine) seeking any purchase in the NFL system.

Perhaps we should find out what Jesse has to say before we start speculating? You never know... he might want to stay, and not risk the ego hit that a third NFL try would bring around, or he'll try to oust Ricky Williams in Miami... we'll find out when we find out.

Did u read past the line you bolded in my post?

I know that 200 000 is less than NFL league minimum, but also remember the kind of deals Lumsden will be offered (if he is offered) No team is gonna sign him for 14 million dollars and promise him a starting position. Heck we dont even know if they want him as a RB. It all comes down to what Jesse wants. Does he essentially want to re-start or maintain the star status and momentum that he already has ?

In Canada, he makes a good salary which also increases as league revenues increase and he gets better . Bob Young could give him the 710 000$ NFL average...he just wont have any room for many other players of value. Or, we offer a long-term deal for more than NFL minimum, which is most likely what he’ll be offered, again if NFL teams are interested. Dave Dickenson make some 450 000 and Calvillo is in that range to. It can be done. Up here he's 'Jesse Lumsden'. down there he's joe blow from Canada. he's not marketeable to Americans, who are the ones buying the jerseys and the bobbleheads, and is in competition with, as u stated 182 other runningbacks who come from more respectable and relaible backgrounds in the eyes of NFL coaches. Case in point, the acquisition of TJ Duckett in wash.Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that if Jesse is offered a deal where the signing bonus is greater than any salary he could get up here, he is going down for a third try. No question. With the numbers u gave me I wouldn’t blame him one bit because that tells me that teams are legit about incorporating him into their game. But again as I stated initially my beef is not with jesse but with how the league is pimping him, cause if your star player leaves to ride the pine in relative obscurity, it will not be good……

To answer your question, yes, I did read your entire post.

There is NO way that Bob will give Jesse $700,000. Remember, the ENTIRE Ticat Payroll can not exceed $4 Million.

I did not suggest that any NFL team would offer Jesse $14 million dollars. Rather, I was pointing out that there is potential to make more money than the $285,000 minimum, simply by being an “average” player. As I said, the “average” running back salary is $750k.

If I were Jesse, I would head South. I may want to wait another year or two, but I would ultimately give it one more shot.

I agree with you that it's unlikely that Jesse gets 700 000 dollars a year, but is it really that out of the possibility? you even said that a teams payroll cant exceed 4 million. I learned in grade one that 700 000 is less than 4 million. that leaves 3.2 million,if i did my math right divided by 47 players it's roughly 68 000. some players make more and some make less.

in life, you pay for what u get. investing in Jesse now could pay dividends for both the Ticats and the league in the near future. with an average ticket price of about 40$ x 28 000 fans at ivor wynn that's 1.12 million in ticket revenue alone, so jesse's salary is covered after 1 home game. Jesse becomes a draw around the league and attendance increases, ratings increase, the cap increases...


You guys are all forgetting that not ALL players let money decide where and when they play.

Example.. Akili Smith in Calgary (2nd string QB) was drafted in the 1st round of the NFL draft a few years ago. He got a 10.5 million signing bonus plus 2-3 million per year for the few years he was there. My point is that he is playing now because he loves the game. I bet he makes no more than 50-60 thousand right now. He could just sit back on his 20-25 million for the rest of his life and do nothing but he wants to play.

Jesse seems to be this calibre of player also.

Well, the reason that Smith is in Calgary is because he couldn't cut it in the NFL. Despite a very successful college stint, he was an NFL disappointment. The Bengals cut him. The Packers cut him. The Bucs cut him. He's playing here because the NFL doesn't want him.

I believe that Smith is hoping to stay in shape, in order to, one day, return South - It's the very same thing that one of his fellow '99 draftees recently did.

By the way, I am not carving on the CFL. I prefer the CFL over the NFL. It's a much better game. Period.

I am simply stating a truism. I believe that any player, given the chance, would prefer to play in the NFL... not because it's more fun, or because there is more camaraderie amongst teammates. Rather, there exists a much greater potential to become financial secure.

money talks

If his agent can get him an invitation to a NFL camp, he's gone regardless of what Desjardins can offer him (which realistically isn't that much anyway). The man wants to play in the NFL, with and against the best in the world. He's wanted that since Day One. The CFL has just been his fallback position.

It's that simple.

An Argo-Cat fan

I think Jesse learned how it goes in the NFL the last two times .

Yes, he'd love to play there ,but ,it's not going to happen .

He's be smarter to stay healthy and sign a good contract here.