Salary Cap reason for Rider-Bomber success?

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It is almost the midway point of the CFL season, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders are leading their respective divisions.

Maybe this new salary management system is working after all.

The Bombers and Roughriders are two of the league's three community-owned teams. They are the two poorest franchises and have gone the longest without winning a Grey Cup. They have always wanted a more level playing field, and now it looks like they have it.

Aside from teams playing the rebuilding Hamilton Tiger-Cats or the quarterback-depleted Toronto Argonauts, it's been impossible to pick surefire winners this season. Parity appears to have enveloped the three-down landscape.

"We are working with all the teams," rookie CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said on his visit to Winnipeg over the weekend. "There are some teams that are trending above it, and some teams are right where they should be. We'll see at the end of the season if that's what happens.

"At the end of the season they know that our office is taking this seriously, and there will be fines if they're over the number."

Teams that exceed the $4.05-million cap will be fined a loonie for each dollar they are over up to $100,000. It's a $2 hit for every dollar between a $100,000 and $300,000 breach, and it's a $3 fine for every dollar if it's more than a $300,000 violation. If a team really spends wildly out of control, it might also forfeit draft picks.

There were whispers earlier this year that a few teams were keeping the league's salary cap police chief, Trevor Hardy, from sneaking a peek at their books, but Cohon said all teams have complied.

"Our guy has been to every team twice," Cohon said.

And it appears most are playing by the rules. There were salary dumps galore during the off-season, and only a handful of those high-priced veterans have been picked up by other teams.

As Cohon alluded to, some franchises may end up violating the cap this year, but it will likely have more to do with injuries than intentional overspending. Saskatchewan, Montreal and Edmonton, for instance, have been hammered by the injury bug and therefore have been paying more players each week than they originally anticipated.

As for potential changes to the system, Cohon is listening. Montreal owner Robert Wetenhall told the Gazette in June that the SMS needs "some very serious adjustments" and vocalized his main concern.

"Because we're in a fan-driven league, where ticket sales generate most of our income, we need to have exceptions to the cap, which allow us to keep our veteran players, the veterans who attract fans to our games," Wetenhall told the Gazette.

Wetenhall also refused to comment when asked if his team would adhere to the cap this season.

Cohon isn't worried about Wetenhall's words. In fact, he's happy to hear dialogue about an important league issue.

"At some point there'll be little tweaks ... but are there bigger issues? Not sure yet," Cohon said. "We'll canvass. I mean, Bob has made some comments, and we'll see, but we're going to track all those and then we'll sit down at the end of the year with the governors and talk about it."

An interesting read, DG. I agree that there should be some minor tweaks when it comes to injuries. This season has been bad for them.

I also agree a little bit with the end, and I remember the panel on TSN talking about it a little while back. Playing identification definitely is important.

i agree, player identification is important, but....

how a team decides to spend is up to them.
if the als want to spend most of thier money on calvillo and cahoon, then thats fine....aslong as they spend less on the other guys.

Not too sure what Wetenhall is talking about since from what we hear every game has been sold out for years. The interest in the league has really gone up in the last two years and I think the idea that all the teams are on the same level has a lot to do with it. The new Commish seems to waffle on the issue and if they make changes that no longer insures equality, that would be sad. DG is right, some teams which includes mine can't afford to compete with the rich teams. We appear to be going private but still I hope the cap stays and is enforced. My few cents for what they're worth. (In CDN$)

Im sure it definately helped to a degree.

I don't believe the cap has made much of difference in the fact that Sask and Winnipeg are at the top of league.

Last year, Winnipeg was on fire until Glenn got hurt. So I expected the same this year.

In terms of Sask, Calgary has always been able to put up great numbers, but they are just more inconsistent this year. Edmonton, still has to many old guys hanging around, they waited to long to make changes. BC, would likely be the best in the west again if it wasn't for injuries. Therefore, what does it leave, I would say that Sask is 3 and 1 in games that they would have normally been 1 and 3. Those games are Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton. This shows the maturity of the team and the impact of having a new coach, and the change of mentality he brought to the team.

In terms of Wetenhall comments, he knows that he has the commish over the barrel, that is because him, David Braley and the Hamilton guy can fire him. That is the problem with the Commish position, it needs a majority of 6 teams to protect his job. Whereas, it should take at least 5 people to fire him.

The league doesn't need franchise player rule again. That hurt the league last time and will do so again if it is implemented.

I sure is nice to see the Esks unable to spend their way out of a bad season. Things are finally fair. :smiley:

Someone a little bitter... :expressionless: lol

I'd rather wait until the end of the season before I start praising the SMS for the success of both teams. I could easily see Montreal surpassing Winnipeg. Of course, with Toronto so far down they'll keep second place.

Too bad Hamilton is still a train wreck, because you know the Argos will make a run once Bishop is back. BC with a healthy qb is still the cream of the crop, but there is real parity among the other 6 teams. I wouldn't sell the SMS short for being partly responsible for that. Although, I still think Braley has his lions over. :wink:

but if DD retires, they will be under.

If he retires before they have to pay him his full salary for this season, because you can't release him while on the injured reserve list, I believe.

If he was put on the 9-game list, I don't believe his salary would count against the cap, but I haven't heard if he was/was not placed on said list.....

I thought he had a long term contract? The six team thing was required to renew the contract, so there is no way that two teams can “fire” him until his current contract is up.

edit: just check and yup, its a five year contract. So mike, were do you get the idea that two teams can fire a guy under contract?

With the last commish, going into the discussion, to renew his contract the initial poll was 5 for renewing 2 for dumping and 1 sitting on the fence. From what I can recall the rumor was the final vote was 3 for not renewing against 5 for renewing. To me that is someone getting fired by the minority.

I forget the circumstances of the previous Commish, I don't think he had served his term, and I don't think they had 6 votes to get rid of him.

The SMS may have something to do with Winnipeg and Saskatchewan leading their conferences...but I think the demise of Ottawa helped them more.
The Riders got a QB and Winnipeg added some key players that have made a difference.

Injuries, non import selections and the cap all combine to effect the season so far, however if people dont make plays non of the above matters.

I just joined a pretty tight new fantasy game which lets you sit in the GM's chair and manage the roster.

Check it out.