The CFL's salary management system

GMs call for 'transparency' in free agency

Bidding process raises concern

when players sign for less elsewhere, Popp says


February 25, 2008

click here

"There's got to be transparency," [Jim] Popp said.

"When a guy becomes a free agent on Feb. 16th,

the offers should be submitted to the CFL
so that when he signs a contract,

that contract comes back (registered)
to the league looking the same..."

Sounds good to me.

Another good idea mentioned in this article...

give teams the right to match any offer
their free agents receive on the open market.

That would allow players to reach market value
and teams to be sure what they are bidding against.

I wouldn't mind seeing the CFL release publicly the salaries of their players.

Ultimately it's up to the free agent which team he plays for. If he wants to take a smaller offer for whatever reason that should be respected. It's not always about the most money.

Dont the teams already have the right to match an offer?

I would not mind seeing this but I agree. Players can sigh for any reason they want. It may even be for less money

Agreed. And that's why I'd be opposed to an opportunity to match by the current team.

If the player wants to give his team the opportunity to match, that should be his prerogative. But it should be his choice, not the team's.

If you're an Alouette who wants to go to Edmonton, as Montreal GM I could offer you the same money but it would be up to you as the player to take it or leave it.

The way that I understood it above was that if you receive an offer from Edmonton, as GM I have the right to match it and if I do you're committed to staying. That I would be opposed to. And I figure the CFLPA would be as well. It should be the player's choice, not his existing team's.

Exactly. Otherwise it isn't true free agency.

The issue is not free agents accepting
less money from the team they sign with,

it is that Popp has dealt with players
and agents who have claimed that

they were being offered more money
than what's eventually written on
the contracts filed with the league.

He is concerned that he may be losing players
to teams who are hiding extra remuneration.

Unfortunately, seeing the contract offer
or being able to match it won't stop it.

What Popp is proposing would eliminate the negotiating power that free agents currently have and should have.

I don't see how giving any team the right to see an offer would benefit anyone but the team. However, maybe what the CFL needs to do, is to adopt the NFL approach. Once a player is signed, their contract is registered, the team then has 7 days to adjust thier roster to get under the cap.

As Dan M says, signing in Alberta is significantly better then signing in Quebec just based on taxes. I would suspect based on the current tax structure, signing in ALberta for $100K is like signing in Quebec for $130K. The difference is the taxes.

For identical employees working in Ottawa one living Quebec (Hull) and one living in Ontario, the difference in take home salary can be as much as $150 to $200 per cheque.

Au contraire, Mikejth... What Popp is proposing
would increase a free agent's negotiating power.

Free agents have 2 or more teams
competing for their services.

If they would rather stay
with their present teams, Mikejth.

they could do so for more money
if their team submitted the same offer

after seeing the details
of another team's offer.

Jim Popp's point is, there is
a need for full disclosure

of what's being paid
to a particular player

so he can be sure what
he is bidding against.


This speaks to a bigger issue,

the need to police and enforce
the salary management system.

so that team's cannot hide any
remuneration they pay to players.

Taxes in Quebec are not as outlandish as they once were. While they are higher in QC, a 150-200$ per for the average taxpayer is way to high.
However the point is correct!

If that is the case then I am against it. While I have no problem with the old team knowing what the bid is....I do not believe that the player should be forced to stay with his old team should they match the price

Currently, if player goes into a gm…he can say, well I have been talking with Edmonton or BC and they are prepared to offer me this. The gm has to decide if they want to offer it or not.

Case in point…Reggie Hunt, he signed with Montreal recently, with close to but not exactly the same as last year. He signed I would expect he signed for $100K or a little more. However, if Popp had known that Sask only offered him $85K he might have offered only $90 or $95K.

Offers should not be disclosed at all. The final contracts should be.

Players will move to another team for various reasons…i.e. Brock wanted moved to Alberta because of health reasons for his family, some player want to move to a competitive team, other players will move just for the dollars and/or an opportunity to start.

Free agency is the opportunity for players to get what is best for them.

In the end, if a team hides renumeration to a player either through market initiative and/or other mechanism that is the job of the auditor to find these things. All the league should be interested in is the final contract.

I agree with you mike, the only things that should be public knowledge is how much a player is earning after he signs with a team. The big problem with the SMS is that there is no disclosure of salaries. We can argue and speculate about who is over/not over all we want, but until the auditors are finished going over a team's numbers, we really don't know if the SMS is really working as it should. Its not out the realm of possibility that a team will go over by 100K and pay the fine to win a championship.

Why should a players salary be public knowledge to either us or other teams…
All the other team needs to know is whether the other teams went over the cap.
I don’t think they or we need to know what anyone is making.
Our salaries are private, theirs should be as well

There is always abuse in any system where under the table deals are made.
CFL is no different then other leagues, other then the $ figures.
Cars, condos and salaries paid by the owner or community for personal services rendered.

The salaries of NHL, NBA, MLB and NFL players are disclosed, you can even find them online. Any pro athlete is a public figure, wether they like it or not. Generally, salaries are public knowledge, not specifically to what you make but as to generally what a person makes who works as a doctor, lawyer or any occupation.

And besides sports figures, lots of salaries are available if you look for them.
Public servants, people who work for crown corportaions, CEOs, etc, are all a matter of public record.
It isn't a big deal from the players perspective--or shouldn't be--but making the salaries known adds transparency to the SMS. And at the end of the day, the best way to enforce the cap is through transparency.....

I had thought a Luxury Tax ideal would work better in the CFL. Then teams could ante up and keep some of their veteran players, but at the same they would have to subsidize the other teams through the tax, so the lower income teams can be competitive with the high spending teams.

The only real example of what is generally called a "luxury tax" system, is Major League Baseball.
So the question then to you is, how well do you believe that is working?