Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

A new season, a new CBA and other bits and pieces

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The Canadian Football League and the CFL Players’ Association have called a press conference for 9 a.m. CT Tuesday morning at which time the details of the new collective bargaining agreement will be announced.

A deal was agreed to last month but needed the approval of all the members of the CFLPA before it could be formally unveiled.
Among the juicier items:

-The ratio, rumoured to be in jeopardy last fall, will hold with 20 Canadians and seven non-import starters.

-The salary cap will remain at $4.2 million for this season but is expected to jump in each year of the four-year contract.

-The minimum salary will raise.

-The players will give up their guaranteed share of league revenue

– 56 per cent under the old deal – for the boost to the cap and minimum salary.

-Drug testing is expected to be implemented beginning in the 2011 season.

-As well, it’s being speculated the option-year window for players – the deal that allows CFLers under contract to explore NFL opportunities in their option years -- is apparently being scrapped outright.

Drew Edwards of The Hamilton Spectator is reporting that Maurice Mann did not practice with the Ticats on Monday and is listed as day-to-day with a wonky ankle. Said Ticat head coach Marcel Bellefeuille on whether Mann would dress against the Bombers this Friday:

"I haven’t made a decision yet. He practised most of training camp and played in the first preseason game so he’s done enough to warrant being able to play. We’ll just have to see how he progresses.

-In Bomberland, funny how the impending regular-season opener can get people healthy again. DB Brandon Stewart was back at work on Monday and may start at halfback this week. FB Daryl Stephenson was back as was OL Ryan Donnelly, WR David Ball and safety Brady Browne. Head coach Paul LaPolice said Jon Oosterhuis is the team’s starting fullback and will be backed up by Stephenson and newcomer Andre Sadeghian. Stephenson, depending on whether the club dresses Yvenson Bernard, would also back up Fred Reid at tailback.

-Saskatchewan Roughriders announced on Monday they have sold out their home opener this Thursday against the Montreal Alouettes, a Grey Cup rematch. Knowing that and with all the curiosity about the Bombers, shouldn’t this Friday’s home opener vs. Hamilton be close to a gimme sell out, too? We know it’s a long weekend, but there are 700,000 people in this burg and not everybody owns a cottage. Do they?

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