There is a rather long thread (24 pages) related to this topic on the Ticats board (http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=72243&hilit=pros+and+cons#p1260669), but I figured I'd create a new one here to get more people's opinion.
I'm starting it off with saying I support the goal of the import rule, but think the rule itself could use improvement. In particular, I think quarterbacks should not be excluded from the import roster count. I also would not want the maximum number of starting imports to increase beyond the current 16, as I see this reducing the number of non-imports at the skills positions.
My suggested rule change is:
- Include the starting and second string quarterbacks in the import roster count; the third string quarterback would continue to be excluded to prevent teams from abusing the rule change by signing a non-import quarterback who they have no intention of letting play just to gain another import spot somewhere else, and would also continue to be restricted from punting and kicking duties to prevent teams from abusing the rule by designating their kicker as the third quarterback to gain an extra roster spot;
- Continue to exclude the quarterback from the starting import count, so the 24 starters will still be 1 QB, max 16 imports, and min 7 non-imports.
This should encourage teams to develop Canadian QBs, as once they are good enough to be designated at least second string, their teams gain an additional import spot for special teams. And by continuing to exclude them from the starting import count, it allows a non-import starting quarterback to be replaced with an import quarterback without affecting the rest of the starting lineup.
For those who enjoy legalese, the actual text to reflect this in the CBA would change as follows (I think), with the changes highlighted as bold: