Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/3/2021 (186 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It's been reported the Canadian Football League has delivered a proposal to the CFL Players' Association that would see the 2021 season start on time in mid-June.
The catch is players would be hit with a 20 per cent pay cut if fans aren't allowed into the stadiums.
Players would then have their salaries topped up later in the summer as restrictions surrounding fans at games are, hopefully, loosened. Whether the players agree to the proposal or not, ultimately, the ball is in the provincial governments' court.
The CFL has submitted their return to play protocols to the provincial governments and is expecting a response in the coming weeks.The Free Press reached out to the CFL, as well as several members of the CFLPA (executive director Brian Ramsay, president Solomon Elimimian, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers player representative Adam Bighill) to comment on the proposal and did not receive a response by press deadline.
There were, however, some notable players who took to Twitter to voice their opinion."Yeah, I think it's my time to exit left. It was fun," wrote Tiger-Cats receiver and return specialist Brandon Banks early Wednesday morning before later deleting the Tweet. Nine-year CFL vet Tony Washington, an offensive lineman for the Montreal Alouettes, also chimed in on Twitter with a much different perspective.
"It was just a proposal and we don't have to sign anything. Let's wait on vaccine progress in May and see where we are. Good to see the CFL and CFLPA working to get this thing going. Back to the grind."
Players have already had their salaries slashed as CFL teams were instructing their general managers to spend close to the league's salary cap floor and players with hefty price tags who were already under contract — such as Bighill and fellow Bombers Zach Collaros and Willie Jefferson — were asked to restructure their deals and take significant pay cuts.
"It’s clear the owners are not keen to open the season with empty stands. And it’s unlikely they would do it without a concession from players side," said TSN Football Insider Dave Naylor on Twitter.
"So what happens if the players reject that offer? Likely means we won’t see football until fans are allowed in stands."
The league revealed a full 18-game schedule in November with the Bombers opening the season on June 10 at IG Field against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Training camp traditionally starts in early May.
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.