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Author Topic: Effects of NFL labour situation on CFL player migration?  (Read 10953 times)

GreatWhiteNorth

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Effects of NFL labour situation on CFL player migration?
« on: January 20, 2011, 11:02:12 AM »
With a lot of experts saying that there is a very real chance of an NFL lockout, it will be interesting to see what effect this has on movement south now, as well as how a new CBA would affect movement going forward.

Now

Presumably there is some form of strike/lock-out pay that would kick in from the NFLPA's warchest, as this is a showdown that has been anticipated for quite some time.  While some players may have pause about signing on with the start of the season being at risk, if you're a 24 yr old American chasing your dream or a 27 yr old that might not get another look, you likely take that risk.  While I respect those that feel that they need to give it a shot, I have another level of respect for those that have the self-awareness to know that they have the shot to star up here rather than be a fringe/PR player down south.  SJ Green was recently added to this list.

There is also the Cam Wake factor with teams being exposed to the first real impact CFL player since Doug Flutie went back to the NFL over a decade ago.  His recent pro-bowl selection likely puts somewhat more of a spotlight on it for some teams, but most will acknowledge that he was a special talent and that not that much has really changed.  See the relative success of Foley, Ricky.

One element prompting players to take their shot now will be the disappearance of the option year window from CFL contracts.  Grandfathered as a right on exisiting contracts, it disappears for any newly signed ones.  A player that doesn't jump now doesn't get another shot to do so for at least two more years.  The difference between 24 and 26 in NFL age is big... the difference between 27 and 29 is that much bigger.

The Restelli contract with the Dolphins was reported in the paper as a "Futures Contract", but there wasn't a lot of explanation about what that actually meant or whether there is a differentiation from a standard players contract.  Anyone shed any light?

Future

Rumours suggest that the new CBA will have a rookie salary cap of some kind, in order to get rid of the ridiculous deals given to top draft picks like Sam Bradford's $50 million in guaranteed money.  By freeing up more money for veterans, it could have the opposite effect of what we've seen with SMS and actually extend the playing days of some guys that would've otherwise been too costly.  In turn, this could possibly reduce the need for a cheap source of talent that the CFL represents.

It is also rumoured that the season will expand to 18 games (hmmm, wonder where they get that idea?) and with the longer season presumably meaning an uptick in injuries, the rosters would expand slightly.  It's been speculated that this could certainly open the doors for some CFL players to get more of a look... particularly if it meant expanded practice rosters.

While the CFL isn't going to compete with the NFL for $$$, with the strong Canadian Dollar floating around parity, the SMS continuing to edge up year after year, and a bit of a move away from the big dollar QB contracts by many teams, it is quite possible that more players will be able to carve out a nice living up here.  I expect that we'll see a larger than usual southern migration this year, but I don't think it's the beginning of the apocalypse nor an trend towards much greater numbers.


Hambone

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Re: Effects of NFL labour situation on CFL player migration?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 01:45:50 PM »
While many CFL fans seem to think a potential NFL work stoppage will have significant impact on CFL player movement I don't see it that way. I think the impact will be at worst minimal. First of the length of any work stoppage is unknown. It could last a full season like the NHL lockout. It could be over in a matter of a few short weeks. For any player wanting to pursue their NFL dream the removal of the option year clause from the new CFL CBA will if anything encourage them to roll the dice on the NFL.

The window of opportunity for CFL players to get that NFL opportunity is brief enough as it is. A player signing a new CFL contract in fear of possible NFL labour problems is closing the door on their NFL aspirations until the 2013 season. Depending on the age of the player that could mean closing the door permanently. It's a tough call for any player. It's like proverbial "bird in the hand being worth two in the bush" adage and that is a two-way street. A player might have some security in a CFL gig vs the longshot at an NFL job. Conversely a player receiving an NFL contract offer now may never see such an offer again.

As such I believe CFL players considering the NFL will proceed as they would any other offseason. As all like to say in sports these days "It's a business". They know they can't control what will transpire in NFL labour relations. They know however a new CBA is structured is beyond their control. All they can do is proceed business as usual and deal with any possible labour disruption as best they can when and if the time comes.   

Saskfan in Winnipeg

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Re: Effects of NFL labour situation on CFL player migration?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 10:46:08 AM »
I don't really worry about this stuff. We lose players every year and we also find some good ones throughout the league.

TheGreyCupTDChicken

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Re: Effects of NFL labour situation on CFL player migration?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 02:31:16 PM »
GreatWhiteNorth - Just had to compliment you on a very well written and informative article

Cheers

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