The Designated Player

What do folks think of bringing back the designated player rule after the next TV contract?

I'm for it, provided the salary cap for such a player isn't too ridiculous. While grass roots growth is working, adding some additional star power to the league wouldn't hurt. I'm sure it would attract some more fans, as Ricky Williams did when he played for the Argos in 2006.

Personally, no thanks for the CFL. I see the Beckham thing in the MLS and I don't like it. Nothing agains't Beckham but I just don't like a league trying to sell itself with this sort of exeption rule for a big name and talent that really isn't that much better than the regular players in the league, I would say. And the CFL has done this in the past as we know. Even within a "major" league, some teams will bring in a big name from another team who is a free agent sometimes I think to sell tickets rather than knowing they will win more games. Actually this happens as well in the CFL.

That being said I do think that many people who follow sports and pay money to go to the games are there for the personality effect they see with some guy being posted all over the media having played in the "big leagues" and they are bigger than life and better etc. it can and does help sell tickets and that is important for professional sports. It's just not the way I want to see the CFL continue to flourish but that is just me and I'm no marketing guru, that's for sure.

It's your second point that I have in mind because you're right, most of the time the difference in talent isn't as substantional as the difference in salary. Average attendance has leveled off. This could be part of a strategy to address that.

That's the one thing I don't like about pro sports. To be honest, I wish in some ways pro sports never came about and it stayed as more amateur in how sport in conducted.

Did I say I want the CFL (NFL, MLB and any other league for that matter) to fold and let the university and junior and any other basically amateur league be the kings? No, of course not. It would be horrible if all of a sudden every city with a university or junior team could be in the running for the national football championship of Canada and win the Grey Cup! :o :wink: Horrible thought I say. :wink:




the CFL had the marquee player rule years back and it almost killed the league, and disgruntled fans coast to coast. You had guys like Ismail making exempt salaries, meanwhile certain teams were losing money and other clubs had to subsidize them because of that fat paycheck. It created a lot of bitterness in some of the smaller markets who were struggling as it was then had to prop up big markets. The CFL, in that era, felt they needed that big name in big markets to secede. I personally would not participate as a fan if they brought this rule back in...I will spend my money elsewhere.

Increase the salary cap. keep picking away at it. get the average salary about 100k a year and prove that can be sustained.

You actually still see this brought up from time to time in posts...people explaining their bitterness towards certain big city franchises with it.

basically, you start this and you'll have other ridiculous stuff being started.

you don't go back to something that was a disaster the first time around.

The lague does need some star power, especially at QB. A more responsible way would be to get the salary cap up so that teams would be able to have a QB that can make 500k a season without affecting the rest of their roster. You saw that Edmonton had to unload ricky ray and his 450k contract in order to strenghten the rest of their roster.
I am not sure a designated player would be the answer the way it was before but maybe exempting 3 500k salaries from the salary cap may enable teams to possibily lure a high profile college QB that goes to the NFL from a College spread offense just to make the money knowing thay he most likely will never get a real shot as a starter. By the time they get to the CFL they no longer have the mind set to succed.
The CFL scouting south of the border is now good enough to see which of these big name spread QBs do not only have a marquee name but also the ability to succeed in the CFL. So having a team with the ability to sign a rookie Qb with the abilities and the star power name for a reasonable 2 year contract at 500K a with the team having the option to pick up the 3rd year.
Ridding the QB from the cap will also enable teams not to ask players who have earned it to take a substancial pay cut or worse yet get released do tho their salary.
Avon Cobourne comes to mind here is a CFL player that everyone can identify with but was forced to his release because his 150,000 contract was too high.
Making the limit 500k still keeps it real and gives GMs the money to keep a Cobourne who clearly can still play and is a name that all CFL fans can identify with.
Going out on a limb here but Colt Brennan comes to mind. out of College he was full of positive energy but was most likely a better fit for the CFL but no CFL team could match the three year 1.4 million dollar salary the Redskins gave him. Hime coming to the CFL this season he is a different person. Possibily feeling like a failure and being out of football for two years one due to injury came to the CFL as an afterthought and was definitely not ready to play football.
Just a suggestion that is not set in stone but would give teams the ability to pay players who have earned it keeping them in the CFL and happy and able to earn a salary. If ricky Ray were able to be one of these 500K guys then the Esks most likely would not have had to trade him and could have placed better talent around him as he has earned the right to that salary.
Just need to keep it reasonable and 500K is reasonable

I agree that the average salary has to rise so that more practice roster players in the US can be recruited. And if a designated or marquee player rule has brought back, the salary cap would have to be affordable for all the teams.

Teams need to develop their own marquee players by keeping them around for as long as they can contribute to winning. Calvillo is a perfect example of this. The long-time Argo model of bringing in some other team's marquee quarterback has contributed as much as anything to the team's loss of fan base. It needs to work on more of an Edmonton model of long-term development of especially quarterbacks to anchor the franchise over the long haul, with only periodic (several years) turn over in the starting position. This gives them a recognizable face to market the team around. Who have the Argos got now that is the face of the franchise? Ray hasn't been there long enough to be through and through double blue, and Pinball Clemons, as much as everybody loves the guy, is probably unknown to most younger fans.


I agree teams do and have developed there own marquee players but unless you are a QB you usually do not get compensated for it. Some are asked to take salary cuts and some are even released or traded aka Ricky Ray to afford other players.
Bringin in high profile players out especially at QB will draw attention. Although under different circumstances in the 80's marquee QBs were brought in at QB J.C. Watts, Turner Gill because of the prejudice towards black QBs but also their running ability suited their skills to the CFL.
Now there are many High profile College QBs that play in a spread offense that does not translate to the NFL but QBs will take their chance maybe grab a #3 spot on the roster or practice roster spot.
The CFL is a spread offense, with the main set for many teams no 5 receivers and would fit these types of QB's but the CFL can not compete with the NFL minimum rookie salary of 390,000 or even the NFL practice roster salry of almost 100K but is not a secure job. There is also still those running QBs out there that are putting up huge numbers in college but do not fit into the NFL pro style QB but still will have a chance to grab a lower level NFL job for more money.
Would Doug Flutie have been able to be afforded by a CFL franchise within todays salary cap restrictions. I am pretty sure at one point he was making 1 Million a season.
Just a little restructuring of the salary cap would be able to bring some of these players back withing a structured and reasnable system
The new TV deal after the 2013 season will be the key to restructuring the Cap.


This type of thing has to be part of a broader marketing strategy...whether its targeting Canadian NFL fans, Americans, or the casual sports fan who likes the spectacle of a big event. I do believe that the approach that MLS takes gives the league a certain cache and adds fans.

The problem was, owners, usually Toronto would throw ridiculous amount of money at some washed up has been from the NFL and the player would be a distraction,cancer and ineffective. The rest of the league would have to pitch in to keep that team from folding . CFL teams don't have the money to even come close to competing with the NFL for talent. 3rd string qb,s make 500 000 for holding a cliop board, thats what our 1st stringers make at QB. Some NFL players signing bonus is more than the cfl,s entire pay roll.

I hear ya. I'm hoping renewal of the TV contract and a deal in the US will help increase revenue and open up some options...

Alot will come down to the TV revenue in which direction they go to broaden their cap options. A reasonable raised cap would give the CFL possiblily just enough where they can afford to pay the QB 500 K and still be able to not ask a 1,000 yard rusher to take a pay cut or be cut after he has become the face of a team that fans can identify with. A raise in the Minimum salary may also see an increase in Canadian Content. Some young Canadian players may be able to get by with a 45K salary for a couple of seasons but if there is not at last a 100,000 dollar salary to look forward to they are smart to use there college education to find a better paying job at way less risk of injury

Agree that a marquee player would help put butts in seats in some of the larger markets (coughTorontocough), but on the other hand a strict limit should be put in place to limit teams from spending beyond their means. Without the designated player, Doug Flutie would never have played a down in the CFL. Instead, we would have been treated to years of Major Harris and Steve Taylor attempting to play the QB position. Nowadays, with the gulf between average CFL salaries and even practice roster NFL salaries widening, it might be time to rethink the designated player rule. However, the new TV deal could change everything all together so who knows I suppose

I agree the designated player will enable teams to sign some star power player that will help promote the league. As has been mentioned players like doug Flutie would not have been able to be signed to todays league do to the salary limitations. The TV deal will open up more money not just from the network but also from the sponsors whose names will appear more with each game. I also agree that there should be a lid on the maximum salary a player should be played. teams are already having trouble signing top QBs like ray for 450K without cutting corners else where a cap on the DP could start at a 500 - 600k salary enbling teams to be able to sign better QBs and also be able to pay better lineman to protect him. The Million dollar player is out of the question at this point but a QB coming to the CFL may be more willing to give a better effort knowing that he will be rewarded if he plays good with a healthy salry that could be of 3 years at 1.5 million or a bit more and also know that better lineman will also be able to get paid to protect him.
The CFL is definitely headin in that direction with the TV rating close to hitting a million a game but not is steven Jyles is the only option for the 8th starting QB in the league. He obviously is not of that ability which lowers the level of play in the CFL.
Maybe even a seperat salary cap for QBs may be in order with a 1 to 1.2 million limit on the salary of the three QBs on the roster creating much better depth at QB for all the teams and eliminate players like Jyles and Joseph from even entering the equation as a starting QB. There was a time when top college QBs who did not fit the NFL profile were able to be signed by the CFL that were better suited for the game. Back then it was the predudice of the black QB allowing the CFL to bring in players like Moon, JC Watts, Turner Gill, Condredge hollaway right out of College where they were stars creating interest of fans both North and south of the border.
Today it is the spread offense QBs that are paying the price putting up great number in college but not running a NFL pro style system in college are not ready to make the NFL adjustment. The CFL with its 5 receiver sets is a spread offense that would suit these players style much better.