Shocking truths about the salary cap

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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?

i think the salary cap system that was adopted in the mid 90,s basicaly Saved the CFL from extinction,. the the beginning of the CFL,s downword spiral in the mid 80,s Had to be Montreals signing of Vince Ferragamo, who was a NFL star and came to CFL with big dollars( at the time) and was a Flop, Fans stopped going and montreal ended up folding, Because the revenue couldnt keep up with the Payroll. The Cap is needed to keep teams from overspending their income. and therefore creating stability. i think it has been noted that the minimum average attendance has to be around 22,000 in order for teams to break even and that was A few years back. it comes down to cost effectiveness of the star player, in Hammilton it could be argued that Casey Printers has not been a Cost effective signing, because he has not helped increase ticket sales, Now if the TiCats were able to sign Brett Farve.?? would he put 10,000 more fans in the stands for a whole season??? IMHO a Homebrew QB. say Archibald from Macmaster Could actualy make the team more money than the other two QB,s . IMHO.

Let's start by correcting you on an obvious error of fact.

There is NO salary cap. There is a salary management system. If a team wants to sign a player to a superstar contract there is nothing preventing them from doing so. They will simply make a contribution to a fund (that has never been made public how it is to be disbursed) and possibly lose one or two draft pick.

Interesting that the only two teams or cities where this topic keeps coming up is Regina and Winnipeg. The two biggest advocates for it :slight_smile:

After fines were levied against Tillman. Looks like opinions are now making their way through media proxy :slight_smile:

SMS ceiling is based on a percentage of revenues and has been agreed to by the CFLPA...So all is good IMO.

I like the idea of having a SMS in place, like someone said before with teams only signing players to two plus an option (is their a rule preventing them from signing longer) it makes it easier for the bigger teams (edm, bc, toronto) to "buy" them when their contracts expire if their was no SMS.

The biggest benefit of it, IMHO, is that you don't get the guys just playing for money up here (they stay on practice rosters in the US), you get the guys who absolutely love the game of football and getting paid to do it is just a bonus. This has started to show on the field, especially this year, with more enteraining games and more parody across the league.

Teams don't only sign players to 2 + 1. The Riders just signed Shologan to a 4 year deal.

What you may be thinking of is the 1+1, which the CBA says teams HAVE to offer 1st year players, in addition to whatever other term you want. So no matter what, 1+1 must be on the table.

Thanks Artie, it just seemed like every contract extension i hear about is a 2+1

And now teams face the "chopping block day" where they cut the Joe Smith, Casey Printers, Michael Bishop, Marcus Crandell before Sept 1, when they face the other half of their salary.

I would say that is the case for younger players....As they get older(Calvillo for example) they tend to get 1 year contracts

The CFL is sort of stuck between their "depression-era" mentality...that bad times could just be around the corner...from pressure to modernize and grow the game due to its popularity.

The $4.2M salary cap is a bit of a joke considering the Riders 2007 financial statement which showed revenues of over $22M. That is a very large percentage which is being spent (or invested) on "non-player" items.