Should the CFL bring back the "exempt" player?

What do you think?

Should the CFL bring back the exempt player clause?

Now that the cap is being enforced do you think it would hurt or help the CFL to allow 1-2 players per team whose salary does not count towards the cap?

OR something like...

Each team has up to $1 million dollars outside of the cap to sign 1 or 2 "star" players. $1 million cannot be surpased but these star players do not count towards the rest of the teams cap.


I'm on the fence.

I see positives and negatives.


Positives are that you get the chance to possibly lure some top notch talent to the CFL and it makes it a viable option for some top tier college players.

Negatives are that some teams would not be able to spend that kind of money and need the cap "as is".

There are plenty more but I'm watch the damn Stamps game! :slight_smile:

I figure if everyone agreed on it then it would be better to raise the cap a mil and let them spend it as they want. Once they get a cap that is hard and enforced then they can think about other stuff. An owner can do it now if he wants to pay the punishment. So you lose a few hundred grand and a canadian draft choice? If its for a player that makes the difference why not do it? it might be just the cost of doing business to some owners. They also need to find a way that teams dont take cap hits if they have a high number of injuries, what else can they do but pay players to come in? Once they get it right they can tinker with it. A mil aint gonna bring any top notch nfl players here unless they are criminals and the argos have them all on their neg list.

When they had the exemption the CFL wasn't even enforcing the cap so bringing it back would really be the first time it was used.

I love to see the Return of this rule
if you Played 5 years as Amercan and live in Canada Year around. You Count as Canadian on the roster
They Following Year

You might as well get rid of the Canadian content rule if you did that.

With regards to the exemption, why not just let the cap go up each year as the revenue improves? Teams are at least semi solvent now, why screw things up? I hardly think such a rule would help the Cats.

I like the idea.

As long as rules are enforced and no one pays beyond the 1 million dollar mark.

It would encourage other players to give the cfl a serious look.

The downside is that maybe there would be 1 or 2 players on each team already that would demand that one million, so that in the end no team improves, and each team is 1 million dollars poorer.

10 years in the CFL OR 5 years with the same team, you are considered a Non-import.... max of 3 per team.

Would be a great rule IMO.

That would be a great idea. After 5 years you're considered a non-import? I like it. BUT... in 5 years would the entire league be American?

I like this one even better.

This is the rule that the league had quite a few years ago. It worked!
Hamilton, and Canada, gained some outstanding citizens with the help of this rule, people like Vince Scott, Ralph Sazio, Bernie Custis, Angelo Mosca.

Winnipeg and Edmonton, to name two, had the same success in attracting, and keeping, some outstanding citizens. There is no downside to this. OK, a few Canadian kids who might otherwise get to wear the uniform and sit on the sidelines lost their chance.
But, the calibre of play in the league, and the quality of player in the league, improved.

Isn't that what it's all about?

I'd change the 10 years to maybe 7 since there are so few 10-year Americans playing and by then, their best days are behind them. But in principle, I've wished for this kind of rule for years. However, the owners would never go for it because it would drive up the salaries of those players. If you could get a US player that wouldn't count against the ratio, that player becomes more valuable (read expensive). I think that's the main reason there are no Canadian QBs in the CFL. If you had a rule that encouraged teams to develop Canadian QBs, those players would become pretty valuable and command higher salaries. Russ Jackson always said that he was paid well because he was a Canadian who could play an American position.

An Argo-Cat fan

Wilf, for me it is not all about having world class players
it is about watching high quality professional football

that is entertaining, competitive and uniquely Canadian.

That’s what it’s all about.

The league is called the Canadian Football League.

There has to a place for more than a few Canadians
out on the field playing not sitting on the sidelines.

Right now on the Ticats, Canadians who have started
are sitting out because the CFL only requires seven
Canadian starters on the Offence and Defence in total.

Historically, as more and more imports were allowed,
Canadians in skill positions were pushed to the sidelines.

Canadians had to be O-linemen or Special Teams players.

Now that the calibre of Canadian players has improved
is not the time to push them out of the league.


Lots of U.S. players have become Canadian citizens
without the incentive of naturalized Canadian rule, too, Wilf.

One outstanding one I can think of is Pinball Clemons.

I’m on the fence as well as people mention with the points above. The non-import status changes, I don’t know.

Ah, also know as the Doug Flutie rule. If I recall correctly this was spearheaded by the owner in Calgary as a way of overpaying for Flutie.

Doug's gone and so is this lame rule IMO, so no need to bring it back.

Ron, there always has been, and always will be, the discussion of what constitutes 'Canadian Football'.

Does it consitute a 'Canadian Style' game, played by Canadian rules? Or is it a game played with mainly 'Canadian Players'?

Of course, it's always been a combination of both. The question is, "To what extent do we mix those two, and come up with a product that satisfies our national pride, but also delivers the highest calibre of skill on the field?

Personally, I like the option that allows players like the ones mentioned above to integrate themselves into our communities. There are other opinions, that's fine.
All I know is that it seemed to work well in the past, on quite a few occasions.

I hate when everyone says that someone should play simply because they are Canadian or that it’s CANADIAN FOOTBALL. Yes, I like that we have to have a certain amount of Canadians but really… what is Canada? It’s a country made up of people from all different nations and races.


What’s wrong with allowing an American, who has made Canada his HOME for a certain amount of years, be able to play without hurting the ratio?

I believe the ratio thing is good and not flipping the player to non-import status is important. I look at the impact somebody like Scott Schultz has on Saskatchewan. He is a home grown local boy. That is a huge marketing bonus. Changing the number of Canadians on the team will impact that martketing bonus.

In terms of allowing $1 million for key players outside the cap. That is what caused the near collaspe of the league before. Those teams that couldn't or wouldn't pay it weren't as competitive. Some of those that did had failures that didn't pay off (i.e. Rocket I. wasn't worth the money Toronto paid him).

All teams in the league are financial stable right now. It is best to keep them that way and look at how we increase gate receipts to allow the salary cap to increase.

Regarding how roster spots can be
taken from true Canadian players

Teams comb the NCAA rosters to find players
who happen to have been born in Canada

but who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans.

Ben Cahoon and Wayne Smith for example.

Is cahoon a canadian? everywhere I check says born in utah yet he is non-import.

he might have grown up in canada and got his early football training in canada just like marwin hage who also wasnt born in canada but grew up in quebec