Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Getting Seasoned in Canada: A Viable Option for a Young NFL Candidate?

Canada's Grey Cup Trophy
There are many NFL players who began their professional careers across the border in Canada.  Some players stayed and did pretty well, but the money in recent years has fallen well short of the NFL rates.  Canada does not lack enthusiasm for football, it lacks population to fill the seats the way they fill down south in the United States. On the other hand, a starter in Canada is going to play 18 regular season games.  Some young developing players might prefer the work rather than warming the bench in the United States. The CFL offers a competitive entertaining brand of football. 

In the early days of the CFL,  many players from the U.S. were attracted with lucrative salary deals, but most recently, the maximum salary for a top CFL player was $400,000.  The top 100 quarterbacks in the NFL all make over $400,000.  So if you were looking at the dollars and sense of it, the NFL would be a better situation for almost all quarterbacks. Things may change however.

Canadian sports TV channels TSN (English) and RDS (French) have renewed their agreement with the Canadian Football League and the price has at least doubled over the previous contract.  The new agreement is thought to be worth at least $30 million and some believe it may be much higher.

At the same time, the Canadian Football League and its players' association resume talks for a new collective bargaining agreement later this week that needs to be in place when the old contract expires on May 31, 2014.  The CFL has 9 teams and it has been tough sledding for many to continue.  The extra TV funds are welcome and needed, but how much the league can afford to share with players remains to be seen.  Never-the-less, assuming both sides can come to an agreement, playing in Canada is likely to be a more appealing venture. Although the salaries may only improve marginally, at least the teams will be on firmer financial footing.
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Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships and other fine book including Maddie Takes the Ice;  The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life);  Public Bonehead, Private Hero: The Real Legacy of Baseball's Fred Merkle; and Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout.  Seen here.