There was quite a stir last week when it was speculated whether the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in his opening address to his team at the end of training camp made the following remark: "Some of you are not here because you are the best players at your position, but because you are the cheapest."
That is what salary-cap eras are all about -- performing a cost-benefit analysis on every player on the roster and determining whether their benefit exceeds their cost, and by what margin. It's not pretty or fair, just the truth, and something all players -- veteran or rookie -- need to be reminded of and exposed to at some point in their careers.
Just hoping to start a bit of a discussion on the Salary cap and how it has affected the league the past few seasons.
Personally, I have to say that the on-field product has improved. I don't know if it has resulted from increased parity or a variety of other factors, but I can say that the cap has played some part in it.
Off the field, things have definately changed. This year saw the first time in the history of the league that the MOP was traded. Other top talents are left hanging in the free agent market, demanding more than anybody is willing to pay and being left unsigned or facing large pay cuts. The laws of supply and demand have created a nightmare for players, talent scouts and accounting departments.
Our $4.3M salary cap also pales in comparison to the est. $116M cap of the NFL this year and their $280k minimum salary for rookies. Should the league make an attempt to change it's image from "family entertainment" to "elite athlete showcase"? To me, that is the fundamental difference, and if the CFL tried, it would be made to fail miserably. The market-share of people who are interested in elite athletes will never be satisfied by the CFL. A cost-benefit analysis of value for the entertainment dollar will always tilt towards the CFL, and that is where it needs to focus it's efforts.
The salary cap came into place to help protect the smaller market teams from the Doug Flutie effect, where teams were able to buy championships. Success in the salary-cap era comes from teamwork and chemistry between the players. Has the salary cap gone too far? Do we need the superstars to be able to maintain market share and sustain our fan base? Or is the return to the fundamentals and strategy of team sports been change for the better?