CFL Pass

Amendment for Canadian rookies in CFL CBA remains unresolved

The CFLPA has submitted a proposal to amend a provision in the CBA that is currently potentially blocking some of the best Canadian players from playing in the league.

The provision restricts rookie Canadians to three-year contracts at, or slightly above, the league minimum $65,000 (Cdn.) per season. The issue arose because the Toronto Argonauts are trying to sign Canadian-born wide receiver T.J. Jones, a veteran of five NFL seasons, according to TSN Football Insider Dave Naylor. Jones was never drafted in the CFL, because he wouldn’t have been granted Canadian status in his draft year, but is still subject to the rookie contract rules despite being a proven commodity.

"The language in the Collective Agreement is clear, however in the spirit of good faith, the player representatives and executive discussed this issue at length and developed a proposal which was communicated to the League yesterday," new CFLPA president Solomon Elimimian said in a statement. "This proposal was met with optimism by Toronto's management. Nevertheless we have yet to hear back from The CFL. Our board respects our players rights while also acknowledging the DESIRE to bring the top talents to our game. 

"We await a response from the CFL to the proposal and will not have any further comments at this time."

TSN's Farhan Lalji reported the CFLPA proposal was submitted Monday and they are waiting a response. Lalji added it's unclear if it would allow Jones' deal to be approved, but the understanding is the Argonauts are optmistic.

Jones accepted an offer of $200,000 per season from the Argos last month, despite receiving multiple offers from NFL teams. All of that is now on hold.

“After speaking with the CFL and CFLPA leadership, it’s clear to me that rookie minimums were never meant to apply to Canadian players coming back from the NFL,” said Jones’ agent Rob Fry. “It is in all parties’ interests that Canadian players coming back from the NFL – who are not professional rookies – have the ability to garner their market value in the CFL. Otherwise, the reality is there won’t be any Canadian players with NFL experience in the CFL.”


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