Salary Management System

Just thinking of our injury situation and the salary management system.

Is it a fair system? IMO It is to an extent. Assuming you only have a few injuries, a team can operate within the system and the system probably works as its was designed. But when you have injury after injury you still need to put a team on the field. That is when it becomes almost impossible. The amount of injured players should somehow be considered. Be nice to be able to have a shorter version of the nine game injury list.

Should we be too concerned about going over a salary cap?

Any thoughts......

Oh oh, now you've stepped in it. Now Tillman is going to get fined again!!! :lol: :lol:

The sms is a complete joke, and this unprecedented injury year is completly proving how screwed up of a system it really is.

I don't think we should be TOO concerned. Because everybody has been 9-gamed, we've gotten out of paying MD and Flick and Fantuz (towards the cap). I don't think we're going to be more than 100k over, when we'd lose the draft pick, and the fine, is nothing to us right now.

I wouldnt say the SMS is a complete joke. I mean it has done a lot of what we wanted. It could use a few refinements though.

Go back and look over the number of 1 game injuries....not even close to the number of players were carrying last year. At times we carried 10 to 12 players for 3 or 4 games straight....this year, I think the maximum number of 1 games has been at 8.

I doubt Tillman will be over.

I asked him how this is all affecting their salary cap in 2008....

TILLMAN: Because the way the SMS (Salary Management System) is currently structured where players on the 9-game injured list don't have their salaries count towards the cap, we've been forced to put some guys on that list that've been hurt for five or six weeks. That way it wouldn't kill us on the cap.

Now, we're in a situation where DE John Chick is well ahead of what we'd originally been told (broken finger), along with WR Adarius Bowman (knee) and OT Belton Johnson (broken leg) but we'll only be able to bring one of those three back early as a second-half exemption from the 9-game injured list which is enormously frustrating. But it is what it is. A classic example of that is DB Leron Mitchell who's been coming along really well in his rehab. He came off 9-weeks but he's still 5 or 6 weeks away. We couldn't afford to pay him while we wait so we had to extend him on the nine-game meaning he can't come back until nine weeks are over which would be Grey Cup in Montreal.

Yes, the injuries that preclude the ones from this week and the handful of guys who have to miss the Montreal game, impact us. But it's more about having guys sitting around who can't play even though they're healthy. We can't activate them because we're restricted on the 9-game rule.

RP: So you'll likely be over the cap. I was under the impression you may try to lobby the league to have the rule amended before the audit?

TILLMAN: We're not going to be able to get it done. We've done what we can on this end. I don't want to elaborate too much, we've done as much as we can behind the scenes. It is what it is. You know how I feel. I'm not going to elaborate and get fined for a 700th time. People can form their own assessments of the situation and the system. We'll live with it. We worked really hard in the off-season with the difficult decisions on Kerry Joseph, Fred Perry, Corey Holmes and Reggie Hunt to be under the cap, and be in position to extend young guys. Now we're in the back of the boat bailing out water. Life goes on. Is it fair? People can make their own assessment. We'll adapt to it just like people have to do in life. This team's going to be healthy and strong come playoff time.

From Rod Pedersen blog

It it what it is. So profound, et. Basically, the SMS works pretty well. Can it be tweaked? Sure. But if the riders are silly enough to put a guy on the 9 game for a broken finger, I can't feel to bad about that. There must be repercussions for injured players, or you might as well toss the entire system out. When I hear Et give concrete solutions instead of just complaints, then we'll talk. But when you protect a guy like Tate for 2 years by abusing the system, it is tough to then go to the league and ask for changes.

While it is not in the quotation above, Tillman has made a constructive suggestion (probably not an original one), namely, to change it to a 6-game exemption rather than a 9-game one. Looking at the upside, it would reduce (but not eliminate) the amount of time that a player that has healed more quickly than 9 games has to sit. For example, if they are ready after 5 games, they miss one game more rather than 4 games more. Keep in mind that it is not good for the league to have its best players sitting out when they are completely able to play. I, frankly, do not see a downside. Just using Arius' example of Tate (let's say for the purposes of discussion that he is not really injured even though he is on the 9-game (the "paper cut brigade", as Mike calls it)): clearly, the more severe 9-game list doesn't stop this practice so acknowledge that it doesn't meet the objective that it was intended to achieve. Whether it is a 6- or 9-game exemption won't alter that potential for abuse but gives teams more flexibility.

The 9-game or any number of game list is simply the wrong tool for the job of stopping that kind of abuse. A means that better matches the objective is something like having an independent or league-appointed doctor review the medical files of and examine players that are rolled over once (if a 9-game list) or twice (if a 6-game list) and force the team to include their salary or release them if the independent doctor finds that there isn't a significant enough injury to prevent playing. That way, a team can "abuse" it for 9 or 12 weeks, but not all year or forever; and the league does not have to be second-guessing every player on the 9- or 6-game list - it's only when they roll over that the red flag need go up.

The trick of any rule is to strike a balance between not being "penalized" for legitimate injuries and not allowing abuse of the system by keeping uninjured players off the market where other teams might pick them up. While there is no perfect balance, I believe that a 6-game exemption (and removing the option to take anyone off early) strikes a better balance.

First lets look at some facts. The riders budgets $300K last year for injuries, they were over because of the papercut brigade. They were over by $76K, while some people will come in here and saying bs like they lost the appeal on David Azzi it cost them more....will that is simple it is an excuse...Azzi came off the 9 game injury list and then they released him....yes they lost the appeal against paying the balance of his salary, but they could very easily have said well if he was injured then he would have gone back on the nine game list.

Now lets look at the situation this year, I am assuming that when Tillman referrs to cuts to Holmes, Perry, etc that he isn't saying they took that money and applied it to the injury budget. But what in fact they have done is taken that money and the increase to cap the and given it to players wages. And the one game injure list has remained relatively the same or gone up slightly.

So what is Eric really complaining about is about going over the sms cap. It is about how the 9 game list works in comparsion to sms. As long as teams have the ability to hide players on the 9 game list, Tate being the worst offender there is no incentive for the league to change. The more Tate's in this league the worse financial shape teams will be in.

Maybe if Tillman didn't play games with players like Tate the league might take some of the discussion serious.

Of all the guys we have on the 9 game this year, I think the only one that was ready to play early was Chick. And the rule allowed us to take him off early, so it seems to have worked pretty well. I have heard the 6 game rule mentioned before. That frankly isn't much better. Then you have a guy like Flick who 6 games wasn't enough, but 12 is perhaps too many. It isn't really much more flexible than the 9 game, but is more open to abuse. I think a sliding injury list is what is needed. Place a guy on a 3-6-9 game list. If he is injured for 3, full salary, for 6, partial, for 9, 0. Once on the list for 9 games, you should be able to continue for 3 game blocks indefinitely. You need to re-op the player at each stage. That allows a player that heals more quickly to come back, and one who has set backs gets the SMS discount, without automatically ending his chance to play earlier. Another option is to build right into the SMS X number of dollars which a team can use for injuries, practice roster players--whatever they want with no penalties. Then if a team wants to keep a Tate around, go ahead. But then if you have real injuries down the line, don't gripe about it. That nearly eliminates the abuse, and any concerns about the length of the recovery time. The size of the "budget" for this could be determined by using a 5-year average of injury expenditures. The down size to this plan is, while greatly reducing abuse of the injury list, it penalizes teams that are in fact healthy. However, I think most teams, given the chance, will spend that money to protect potential players, even if they are not hurt.
No system will prevent abuse, and having doctors used as you say opens up more problems than it solves. You can't release an injured player. If the team says he is hurt, but a league doctor says he is fine, then that opens up lawsuits if you release the player. Plus injuries like concussions, or back injuries are too difficult to assess and if the player says it hurts, then it likely does. Having a league doctor involved in the process might help, but it cannot be the final arbiter.

Now that is a very reasoned and rational alternative, Arius.

I wrote this before your post appeared but hadn't been able to submit it before you submitted yours (this new forum tells you when a new post has come in and asks you if you want to edit your draft!! - Really cool feature!). As you will see, I particularly appreciate your post because it isn't based on personalities and emotion!

Anyways, since I put some effort into it, I will send it as is for discussion (was in partial reply to Mike's post) :

You're right that it is about "how the 9 game list works in comparison with the sms". You start with facts but end with personalities and emotion. But if I am running the league, I would want to make decisions based on sound policies rather than personalities and emotion. Take Tillman and Tate and the love or hate for them out of the equation and then ask: is the current system the best way, amongt all possible but imperfect ways, to achieve the desired objective? Just by acknowledging that the paper cut brigade continues to exist means that it is not achieving the objective. I am not sure if your point is only to say that Tillman is cheating so has no credibility or if you are also defending the existing system. If the latter, I would have difficulty understading how you would defend a system that, by your own admission, isn't working. It may be that, when weighing alternatives, it is the lesser amongst evils, but without an analysis of alternatives, we will never know.

Any analysis must be based on a common understanding of the objective. I suggest that, in an ideal world, I would want that the best players play when they are not legitimately injured. The corollary is that the players that are legitimately injured to the point that they cannot play should not have their salary count against the sms, whether it be one game or all season. That would be the fairest in the sense that it would eliminate the pure randomness of different teams having different person days lost due to injury over a season. That is, it would not matter if a team has many or few legitimate injuries or whether they are of long or short duration.

The problem is knowing or determining what injuries are legitimate. If I/the League had unlimited resources (or at least lot's of resources), it would or could have its own medical staff that independently reviews every injury. However, since that is not realistic due to sheer cost and logistics (at least I am assuming it is) and it is not an exact science anyways (how injured is sufficiently injured so which doctor is right when they don't agree?), I have to accept that I will not have the ideal world. So what can I do as the League to get as close to that ideal world without absorbing too much cost? My suggestion in my thread above, to me, strikes a better balance (but still not perfection) without incurring too much added cost than the current system. In fact, I think that just having the authority to conduct an independent medical review that is final and determinative would knock off most paper cut brigade candidates such that there would, in fact, be very few reviews necessary in a given year (the deterrent effect). For example, Tillman is alot less likely to go to bat for Tate (i.e. keep him on the payroll) when he knows that Tate really isn't injured if he has to turn over the Riders' medical reports and subject Tate to a league-appointed medical review.

Just my attempt to be objective about this matter.

Maybe the league has to take a tally of the number of injuries per team, take an average, and use that total as a ceiling for all teams. For those teams that didn't have a ton of injuries, they will not be affected; for those teams that were decimated by injuries, the ceiling is what is charged towards their cap.

That is similar to what I said, but it leaves too much room for abuse. the injury average can slowly pressure the cap upwards if teams know that extra injuries won't count, bet there will be extra injuries....
What is over the ceiling must count to the cap, not what is under....but you are on the right track.

Maybe if Mike did not do this. Hate all things Tillman. We would take him seriously. Same Mike who said Tillman was lying about SMS last year. Said Riders would be over by 300. Or more. He wants us to listen to him on the cap. Not ET. :lol:

Personally, I think that they need to lower the cap slightly (or simply don’t increase it this year) and only count the salaries of those on the 42-man roster. And anybody who doesn’t make the 46 has to sit out at least 3 games.

Put the best product possible on the field for the fans.

Why should the coaching staff have to play games with injuries? You might consider a 48-man roster to allow for 6 game-time decision injuries. But by the time 48-hours before kickoff rolls arond, you probably won’t have more than 4 GTD’s left.

Hey Austin suggest you go back with the koolaid group in If had taken the time to read, I never said anything negative about Tillman. What I said, is if Tillman insists on keeping the papercut brigade around there is no incentive for the league to make changes.

btw....where is captain papercut these days.....haven't seen him around or on the roster lists lately.....i guess he has gone into hiding....