Saturday night the news sprung like music to ears of every football fan... a tentative deal had been reached between the CFL and CFLPA. Cue choir signing Alleluia. After weeks of public bickering and gamesmanship, the two sides were finally able to come to a deal with the looming threat of Monday's preseson opener being cancelled.
While both sides have said they would not comment publicly on the terms of the deal, this is the age of the internet and there are clearly a few snitches out there so this is what I have been able to piece together with pretty minimal effort:
- 6 year deal
- Salary cap set at $5M and will increase by $50K each year
- Elimination of the option year except for rookies (i..e 1 year contracts will finally be allowed for vets)
- Ratification bonuses of $12K for 6 year vets, $10K for 5 year vets, $8K for 4 yr, $6K for 1-3 year and $1500 for rookies.
Now this deal still needs to be ratified by the players to become official and that might be automatic as is usually the case. Word is lots of players are pissed of at the CFLPA for accepting this deal. If you believe what's on the internet (and really when has false information ever come from there?) the Rider players overwhelmingly hate this deal. Stamps players (in a recurring theme of not being able to keep their mouths shut) took to Twitter to voice displeasure. Overall there is lots of talk that the players might vote against this deal... and if that happened things would spiral into shit-storm very quickly.
I think it would be a mistake for the players to do that regardless of whether or not they like the deal. While I realize that math is likely not a strength of many of these players, they really need to do the math... or pay their agent to do it for them. If they vote this down I guarantee the ratification bonuses are off the table. Also a strike will be a certainty and players will lose wages there. The question is "do they really think the potential gains of fighting with the league more will be greater than what they will lose?". They are fooling themselves if they think they will be. Not only will the League's offer not grow... as games/revenue get lost the offer will most likely shrink.
The CFLPA over promised and under-delivered to its members and the CFL treated the CFLPA with all the kindness of Nelson Muntz but unfortunately this is as good as the ending is gonna get.
I hope common sense prevails because there is a little something called "the first Rider game of the year" coming up right away and I'd love to be able to devote this writing space to actual football rather than writing about labour law and bargaining tactics (feels like I'm back in university). Fingers crossed that we won't have to deal with this crap for 6 more years.
Let's play ball!
PS - In case you missed it, while players in Alberta were taking a strike vote, this is where the voting occured