CFL and CFL Players’ Association reach another tentative collective agreement
The CFL and the CFL Players’ Association have reached another seven-year interim agreement.
According to a league source, the two sides reached a second tentative agreement Thursday, two days after CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled the league’s final offer to its players.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity as neither the CFL nor the CFLPA have confirmed the deal.
CBC Sports has not independently confirmed the information.
Time is running out as the CFL pre-season schedule is set to kick off Friday night with two games.
On Monday, the players voted against a tentative agreement that the union had recommended they accept. The CFTPA also recommends ratification of Thursday’s tentative agreement.
According to sources, CFL teams will have seven Canadian starters and 21 total on the roster this year. In 2023, that number increases to eight, including one nationalized Canadian – an American who has spent five years in the CFL or at least three with the same team.
Clubs will also be able to run two nationalized Canadians up to 49% of shots. Teams can expand to three nationalized Canadians in 2024, but the two franchises that face the most Canadians at the end of the season will receive additional second-round picks.
And the seven Pure Canadian starters per game will remain intact for the duration of the deal, which can be reopened after five years when the CFL’s broadcast deal with TSN expires.
The CFL will also provide $1.225 million in a ratification pool for players.
But Canadian Justin Palardy, a former kicker who spent time with five CFL teams from 2010 to 2015, took to social media to express his displeasure with the deal.
“As I said on another tweet, what’s the point of writing more [Canadians] if we get rid of Canadian starters?” he tweeted. “You might think that’s a great idea, that doesn’t mean it makes sense.”
The two sides were at odds over the Canadian ratio.
But the deal also called for CFL teams to increase the number of Canadian starters from seven to eight. The extra would also have been a nationalized Canadian.
In addition, three other nationalized Canadians could play up to 49% of the snaps. And the agreement did not include a ratification bonus.
On Tuesday, Ambrosie unveiled a modified proposal that included a $1 million ratification pool and the abolition of the three nationalized Canadians playing 49% of the snaps. However, he also reduced the number of Canadian starters to seven, including one nationalized Canadian.
This was the second time Ambrosie had made a final contract offer to the CFLPA public. On May 14, he posted a letter to fans on the league’s website detailing the league’s proposal to players hours before the old CBA expired.
The following day, players from seven CFL teams opted out of training camp and went on strike. The Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders both opened camp as scheduled because they were not in a legal strike position under provincial labor laws at the time.
It was only the second work stoppage in league history and the first since 1974.