It has been an amazing off season in the CFL, what I believe to be North America’s premier football association.
Firstly, we saw Toronto win the Grey Cup in grand fashion, with a superb presentation of what make the game unique. From the immediate game changing presence of Commissioner Randy Ambrosie to what has been a whirlwind of player departures and signings. It has been amazing to see players like Jerome Messam go back to the Saskatchewan Roughriders and players like ex-NFLer Manzell tease Hamilton.
The outlook on the season is great, however, this season has seen an amazing amount of what I call ‘dump the player,’. The game is simple, sign a player to a multi-year contract with bonuses due each season for staying with the team, then dump them one day before the $15,000 or $30,000 is due them. The player is then in CFL limbo until another team signs them, presumably for one year with another signing bonus due them.
As a fan of the game, it is difficult to build team loyalty and fan base if your team continually dumps good players before a negotiated amount is due them. It is downright dirty pool, and casts a dark pall on the whole league. I would feel less unhappy IF CFL head office and the CFLPA took a stand on the practise, but neith has commented on the situation that folks like Darian Durant, Kevin Glenn and others have part of.
If I were CFL commissioner, I would immediately deal with this shameful business practice.
If I were a player, I would not include any bonus with my contract, but try to negotiate a reasonable salary for my time with any team.
Tim Lasiuta, Red Deer