A CFL player speaks out: We have lost faith in Randy Ambrosie

Editor’s note: In the wake of CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s statements last week on the league’s contract rules and his assertion that players should get a job in the off-season, we asked a current CFL player for his reaction. Out of concern for his job security, he has requested to remain anonymous.

By A CFL Player

When Randy Ambrosie was named the CFL’s new commissioner last season, there was a sense of optimism among the players. Who better than to bridge the gap between the players and the league on hotly contested issues than a former player? Surely somebody who was in our shoes would appreciate our current position: he was one of us.

Wrong.

Recent comments from Ambrosie indicate how far removed he is from his playing days. Let’s start with his assertion that players should work during the offseason, something he did so during his nine years in the league. Back in those days, players used training camp to get in shape and they were not expected to be ready to play a game less than a week after the start of camp. The league was not nearly as competitive, either.

Fun fact: some players would actually smoke in between and after practices and during games in the locker rooms. Seriously.

Show me a player who doesn’t commit to training full-time in the offseason and I’ll show you a player who is about to lose his job to somebody who did. That is the reality of today’s CFL. It’s that competitive and it’s also why the on-field product improves year after year.

Your best case scenario as a player is to minimize the dip in your savings as you train by working part-time with a very understanding employer… or one that doesn’t know how to use Google and fails to realize they’re about to lose you in a few months time.

Ambrosie’s comments on both players and teams alike honouring their contracts could not have been more tone-deaf in light of recent events. James Wilder Jr., the league’s rookie of the year, and Victor Butler, one of the league’s elite defensive players, both spoke publicly to their frustrations about not being released to pursue employment opportunities in the NFL. Shame on them, they have no right… wait. B.C. Lion Micah Awe was just granted his release by his club. Might have Wilder and Butler actually had those deals in place with former Toronto GM Jim Barker? Maybe this is how things work? (Popp assuming somebody else’s handshake deal is another discussion entirely.)

But clubs always honour their contractual obligations, right? Just ask Kienan LaFrance who was released hours before his off-season roster payment was due. Or Darian Durant. Or Adarius Bowman. Or… I get that the commissioner’s job is to protect the clubs but his statement was laughable for those with a clue. You can’t have it both ways.

If you are still sold on the former-player commissioner, ask yourself how players have benefited from his tenure to date? Does extending the season by a week help players by demanding they stay a week longer away from home without pay? Is it safe for players to practice all week without pads, then go into a game performing techniques they cannot develop properly during the week? Did he step in to overrule former commissioner Jeffrey Orridge’s decision to halt all offseason payments in 2019 – a manoeuvre clearly designed to put pressure on the players’ union despite a valid CBA in place?

Make no mistake about it, nobody should be surprised by these actions and statements. Randy Ambrosie has a commitment to protect the league’s interests, nothing more. That’s his job and clearly his honeymoon phase with the players, such as it was, is over. His status as a former player has proven to carry zero benefit for the current ones after all.

Even worse, his oft-repeated statements referencing his playing days and appreciating the players as the league’s greatest asset serve only to shamelessly pander to those still paying attention.

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98 Comments on A CFL player speaks out: We have lost faith in Randy Ambrosie

  1. Out of touch but he’s better than Orridge….so far

    • How so? Everything that is going on in the League started under Orridge. Still to be seen. More palatable to the eyes for some but he has done nothing so far but talk.

      • I have to agree, Ambrosie seems to be all talk and is full of himself. He is out of touch with today’s CFL.
        I think it was a mistake to hire an ex Canadian player as the commmish.

        • Cal Gary Shampeders // February 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm //

          The *only* question a commish *ever* has to be concerned with is “Are the owners happy with me?”

          They are. Nothing else matters even slightly.

          And the whining – now by a coward who won’t attach his name to his comments – is getting old quickly. Don’t like your collective bargaining agreement? Strike. Still don’t like the CFL. Go work construction in offseason and during the season.

          Problem solved.

    • Disagree totally. So far, all I see him doing is over-reacting.

    • I’d have to say the 3down staff is more out of touch than Ambrosie or the players. They obviously don’t understand the purpose of those February bonuses any better than a lot of the keyboard warriors posting here. They are “performance” bonuses. If the player performs to the level expected, the bonus is paid and the player continues his contract with the team. If not, the team releases the player. Both parties understand this when they sign the contract. It’s too bad that the “esteemed” writers at 3down nation don’t.

  2. Yes, times have changed since his playing days. The most dishonorable aspects not paying out the bonuses. Some released only hours before payment due. Man, somehow this is hard to swallow. CBA must get involved.

    • Cal Gary Shampeders // February 7, 2018 at 2:14 pm //

      The NFL does the same exact thing! You are not guaranteed your so-called bonus. It is like another signing bonus and will only be paid if the team wants you back. If not, you’re a free agent and can sign on either side of the border. Sheesh!

      That is so bloody simple to understand and yet you people go on about it like the players are getting robbed!

    • Don’t forget these Feb. Bonuses are for the 2018 season. They prepayment for work not yet done

  3. I understand the concern of extending the season by a week, but I still feel like Ambrosie is doing that with most players best interests in mind.

    Regarding the comment about practicing with no pads, then going into games with limited tackling practice, this was something i feared when news of this new policy came down. Interesting to see that at least some players are concerned by the rule.

    • O-Linemen protecting the interest of O-Linemen. OL hate pads because in any team drill they can’t avoid contact no matter what tempo of the drill is. Soft shells would solve non padded practices.

  4. Whatever.
    Then don’t play.

  5. The off season bonuses are an advance on the upcoming season. Players aren’t out money they have already deserved. These off season bonuses are to the players’ advantage as they force a team to declare their intentions long before camp while they still have options. Without the bonus, a team like the Eskimos could bring Bowman to camp, see how his potential replacements work out, and then release Bowman on cutdown day, leaving him with few options as teams will have already committed their dollars to other players.

    The off-season bonus prevents this scenario and protects the player.

    Now, should football players have guaranteed contracts like other sports? That is a different question altogether. I think think the quality of play would fall as teams would be stuck with players who have lost a step.

  6. This sounds like a player who wants to be let out of their contract whenever they want. I think the CFL has it right when they demand a 2 year commitment from players who want to use the CFL for development and exposure for the NFL. If they don’t like it, don’t come to the CFL. There is too much player movement as it is. The CFL has shot themsleves in the foot by having some teams enforce the two year contract while others letting players out of their contacts.

    • rogieshan // February 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm //

      Really strong points here, Childress. I get the players’ frustration, but the only contractual obligation not being honoured come from the players themselves with their side deals. Releasing players before their bonus due dates is permitted within the CBA. Disgruntled players need to focus on their own union rep in the PA, not the commissioner.

  7. Smart man whoever wrote this. Well thought out. Excellent points. I think they should allow pads a certain amount. The NFL has a decent policy. 14 padded practices which 11 must be complete by week 11. CFL could do something similar. If a team signs someone after the season starts, it would be nice to see them practice in pads.
    Randy is doing ok tho. I understand he is trying to protect players and teams. The next CBA is huge. Of course a strike or lockout would destroy the league.

  8. The NFL does NOT have guaranteed contracts as a general rule….

  9. Longtimelurker // February 7, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    It is in player contracts that they can be released at any time (unless injury occurs), the teams are not breaching any terms of the contract.

  10. The most dishonorable aspect is indeed not paying out the bonuses. Some released only hours before payment due.

    Shady and unethical, at best. Yet the league insists the players adhere to their contracts.

    • Not remotely shady or dishonorable. You just need to understand what those bonuses are for. They are “performance” bonuses. If the player performs to the level expected, the bonus is paid and the player continues his contract with the team. If not, the team releases the player. Both parties understand this when they sign the contract.

  11. Maybe when the cfl folds the XFL will give Randy a job.

  12. Players and coaches should live up to their contractual obligations. The CFLPA needs to address this! The bonus issue must also be altered to avoid the ugly examples we have all just seen. Love this league, but we must be better!!!,

  13. You are basing a story on one person? And anonymous at that. I miss the days where we had multiple sourced stories with actual people.

    • Nailed it!

    • But do we really need multiple sources in this case Moe ? anyone who follows the league, even on a most casual basis, knows that players are released with utter dispatch days or hours before they are due a bonus which the team had contractually agreed to pay them. Heck the teams even announce the release. Tearing up or voiding a contract may be legal but in your mind is that truly fair play ? Were that to happen to you would you consider this honorable ?

      As for a second job. As the writer suggests go ahead and get a sideline but good luck hanging on to your spot if you show up at training camp unprepared. I don’t need a second source to confirm that for me Moe. That’s just the way it is.

      • George Porge // February 7, 2018 at 2:57 pm //

        The cutting of players that are coming due for their bonus can surprise some of us fans, because we do not see what’s going on behind the scenes. To the players, however, it is pretty unlikely that these things happen to them without warning. In most of the cases we’ve seen even this off season, the player had been given a chance to renegotiate their contract. Players that do get cut know that they will be hitting free agency early and get a head start in contacting other teams.

      • How many times do you guys have to hear there are no bonuses at all I wish the league and players assn. would issue a statement saying this. Can you imagine how many lawsuits there would be,and there are none….fleabag lawyer Tony merchant wougd go nuts…..

      • There is a big difference between play bonuses and roster bonuses. A roster bonus is paid out to players a team wishes to keep for the upcoming season. Play bonuses are for what a player already did, and they are paid during the season.

        Think of it this way: I’ll give you $100k for this year, and if I decide I want to employ you next year, I’ll pay you $20k plus your salary for the year as you play. If not, I’ll release you. Sound good? Great, sign here.

        How is that unfair?

  14. Releasing a player before their bonus is due is the same as releasing them anytime prior to the start of the season. Players with huge off season bonuses are paid that way due to income tax implications. American players are taxed on a lesser rate for bonuses than for game cheques, hence why they sign contracts structured with bonuses for the off season and smaller amount per year. They haven’t earned the bonus until the season starts. The player signing such a contract is taking a chance the bonuses will be paid out, however so is management taking a chance. If the majority of a players contract is in bonus money paid prior to the start of the season and the said player is injured and misses most of the season, the SMS hit is the bonus money paid plus the full hit for replacement players.

    • If the player is injured & placed on the 6-game IR, his salary does NOT count against the cap…

      • Were you trying to contradict Sher by posting something that does not contradict the comment at all? Comment was about BONUS counting towards to cap, even if player spends entire season injured.

    • I would add to that a number of players hand around without disclosing they are going to retire until just after getting that Feb. Bonus check. Oe cheque in Canadian. Ha! It does teams no benefit to pay a bonus to a player before the season even starts. It’s done to help the player. President season bonus is risky for both sides.

  15. Where does a fan have to go to watch the players’ 8 hour daily offseason workouts? I suspect the workouts are more likely 2-3 hours leaving time to work on their after football careers rather than their online gaming skills.

    • Find a gym where they are known to frequent go park there and watch them. Then hit them up when they drop into physio almost every second day trying to get their aching bodies to respond to the just ended long season and the off-season workout grind ahead. And lastly book a flight and follow them to whatever pro camp they may attend to keep themselves in a state of football readiness. After that go find the employer who will accept those gaps in that employees schedule and we’re good !

    • Blue rules // February 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm //

      for many players a career last less then 5 years. So an education in business or other is mandatory to maintain a decent living after football. That is where a player should be spending their off time, so he doesn’t become a debit on society. I realize all players have an education but as an athlete from a young age they spend most of their lives working on their sports career rather than develop their personal career. To suggest that you may find these athletes working as a manager at a car dealership, home hardware store etc… is ridiculous. A living wage is mandatory. After all this is a professional sport not an amateur sport!

      • Blue
        No one is forced to sign a contract, As for living wage…I’d love to have had that wage at their age. I went to college and no one was offering me kinda money out of college. And since they know that the average career is 5 years don’t you think they should be planning for work after football? Or do you think they should be able to retire from life after 5 years?

  16. I bet this was written by someone in the cflpa and they’re clearly getting ready for a fight over the next cba, which could get ugly. as said, releasing guys a day before a bonus is due is shady for sure and this league clearly needs a raise for its players, and a big one for a change, 2 biggies that need action. I did think randys comments on off season jobs was out of line, let the players make that decision in private, theres alot at stake and many factors involved when you’re trying to make the big time money.

    • They are “performance” bonuses. If the player performs to the level expected, the bonus is paid and the player continues his contract with the team. If not, the team releases the player. Both parties understand this when they sign the contract.

  17. Feeling Blue // February 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm //

    Lets be clear, Randy is not a player, he is the commissioner of the CFL. He is paid to help run a business. When a player decides to sign a contract he is making a choice. If that is not going to work for you, don’t sign the contract and choose to do something else.

  18. The commissioner when taking about working in the off season also stated it was good to do to get players ready for life after football

  19. I would suggest to this player, that if he doesn’t think its a good idea to have a career plan started during your playing days, then to stay on that path if he wishes. If my son was playing I would strongly suggest he take the commissioners suggestion. I understand players need to train and that itself could be considered a full time job but it seems prudent to have an eye to the future. As far as players working harder on thier craft now vs 20 years ago…..I don’t buy it.

  20. Giving a podium to an “Anonymous player” is BS.

    • I’m actually quite glad to hear it, as long as it’s legit. I think the player is wrong on a number of points but I’m glad to hear his opinion and have a bit of a back and forth discussion.

  21. While I kind of agree with this player on a couple of points it sounds to me like he’s hitting the panic button a little too early, and maybe he’s not fully understanding some of these situations.

    The part about working in the off season I suspect was not adequately explained by Ambrosie. I think it’s a good idea for players to do something in the off season that helps set them up for their post football careers, but I see that more as picking up some classes, or working part time somewhere. Charleston Hughes I believe works part time managing a restaurant, a steakhouse, because he plans to open a restaurant when he’s done. But Ambrosie’s statement sounded more like he was saying players should go out and get a full time job, and I don’t think that’s realistic anymore.

    Otoh, with respect to the side deals Ambrosie is in a tough spot, and I think he’s playing a longer game here. The rule is the rule, but teams have been openly breaking the rule for a long time. The real problem is that a good and needed rule was abolished for reasons no one can explain, and teams have had to do these side deals to compensate. But then Popp refused to honour a couple of side deals made by a former GM. Ambrosie has to back Popp, because that’s the rule, but after he did what he had to do there he’s been mostly silent, which is a good thing imo. He has let the awkwardness of the situation speak for itself. He can fix this on his own, and I think it’s good that the parties that can fix it wear this awkwardness so that they’re full prepared to fix it when the next negotiations come up.

    On the bonuses prior to the FA period, it sounds to me like he doesn’t really understand what they’re there for and how they work. Please see Childresses posts for a very good explanation.

    With respect to the extra week and the pads, I’m guessing that most players would be for those things. The no pad practices is considered progressive by most people, and the extra week gives an extra week to heal, to reduce the cumulative damage, and I suspect that many teams will allow their players to go home for that extra week. I’m guessing that this player is in the minority on both of those points.

    And yes, I’m still sold on Ambrosie. He’s not perfect just like the player who wrote this piece isn’t perfect, but on balance I think he’s done extremely well and has us headed in a very positive direction. The big thing I’m hoping for is a big, fat, US TV contract so that we can substantially boost the pay of the players and build some top tier facilities, that and the 10th team in Halifax!

  22. Ruder4life // February 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm //

    Ok why is it a player can’t opt out of a 2 year contract to head south but Cory Chamlin can leave for the NFL when he signed also a 2 year deal. I say it should work both ways as even given a penalty to either a coach or player that wants to leave yo better them selves.

  23. The rules and contracts haven’t changed he is just informing them. So a player doesn’t like it, go to your Union and take it up in the next CBA in the mean time move on.

    • As a fan I want the best talent possible on the field. Treat the players with respect and with short playing careeers give them the option for the NFL. They will respect this option given to them and the CFL will be better for it. With the XFl coming back I would love to see the players come back to Canada rather than go to the XFL. As it is most of the players are not paid well enough as they put their bodies on the line.

  24. fannotacoach // February 7, 2018 at 2:23 pm //

    Why can’t the player if the coach etc etc? Because it’s in the contract that allows it. Ask why is the sky blue. To change it both sides have to agree to make those changes when the league and players association sit down. They agreed to what is in place now. If there is to be a change they have to make it during the NEXT negotiations.
    As for raising the players salary that would work fine for some teams but not all teams have the income due to poor game attendance and sale of team paraphernalia or lack of management. We can’t possibly match NFL salaries or the league would fold. Players have to realize where they are signing and the conditions of the contract. I would like to see it all change for the better for players, teams and fans but there is some reality to be met as well. In my humble opinion!

  25. What ever // February 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm //

    I think there are a lot of issues to be addressed before a new deal will be signed with the player’s association and it is bad news that these issues are becoming contentious already, more than a year before the present agreement expires.
    A lot of players this off season are demanding hard money in their contracts as opposed to performance based bonuses. GMs across the league have no one to blame but themselves for that after cutting players hours before their bonus is due. Ambrosie has not helped in that with not backing off of Orridge’s directive to not pay bonuses due in 2019.
    I also think there is top big a discrepancy in what GMs and coaches are making as opposed to average player salaries. A lot of coaches and GMs are making half a million dollars and more; they have unlimited assistant coaches and GMs. And their contracts are guaranteed. If they sign a five year contract, win or lose, they know that money is theirs. Why aren’t their contracts more performance based? You have been head coach for three years and your team came in last place, you are out of here; no money owed. It has to be frustrating for a player to be told by a GM or coach making half a million dollars that you are being released a day before your bonus is due. Think about it. It would make me angry.

  26. Looking good at 56 // February 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm //

    This isn’t even a story.
    What makes this player so important that his complaints deserve print?

  27. Hard to take issue with the players comments!

  28. George Porge // February 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm //

    A few rebuttals to this CFL player’s arguments:

    “Let’s start with his assertion that players should work during the offseason…Show me a player who doesn’t commit to training full-time in the offseason and I’ll show you a player who is about to lose his job to somebody who did.”

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Given the amount most CFL players are paid during the year, the off-season job doesn’t necessarily need to be a full-time job. Though even it can be, as well. One well-known example of a player that did just this is Jon Cornish – one of the best Canadian running backs ever to play in the CFL. During his entire tenure as a player, Cornish worked as a banker in Calgary, and continues to do so today. Korey Sheets spent his off-season working in the oilpatch and still managed to stay in good enough shape to get signed to an NFL team. I would say that having an off-season job had very little negative impact on these guys’ ability to play competitive football.

    “Ambrosie’s comments on both players and teams alike honouring their contracts could not have been more tone-deaf in light of recent events.”

    While Ambrosie may have been mealy-mouthed in saying this, he’s not technically wrong. Player contracts are generally drafted by the teams hiring the player. One aspect of the contract is the terms in which that player can be cut from the team, and what renumeration (if any) that player receives when he is cut. Others have explained the “cut before bonus” argument better than I can here, but I will say that, again, the contract itself lays out the terms of that bonus, and while it may disadvantage the player in terms of being able to renegotiate the contract, the team is still honouring what has been written and agreed to in that contract. Players who want to change this reality will have to work with their agents and the CFLPA if they want to see an improvement.

    “Does extending the season by a week help players by demanding they stay a week longer away from home without pay?”

    It helps players by adding flexibility to the schedule so that bye-weeks can be better staggered during the season, allowing for players to actually benefit from the break that those bye-weeks provide. While this season’s schedule is far from perfect, it is better for most teams than last year’s, simply because of this flexibility.

    “Is it safe for players to practice all week without pads, then go into a game performing techniques they cannot develop properly during the week?”

    Considering this change was in direct-response to a finding that repeated hits (rather than less frequent, more serious hits) may be a bigger contributor to CTE, the theory is, yes, this is supposed to enhance player safety. Considering the negative effect that this is likely having on the quality of play, I would find it more likely that the CFL would want to increase padded practices instead of decreasing them. Again, this is something that players should be demanding the CFLPA be involved in, as it is pressure from the PA is what led to this decision in the first place. If it truly is detrimental to player safety as this player thinks it is, then it is in no one’s interest to have non-padded practices.

    As others have already made clear, Ambrosie represents the league, not the players (they have their own representatives – the CFLPA). Nobody should be surprised that Ambrosie isn’t toeing the CFLPA’s line here. His jobs is to make the league better. It is not to be chummy with the players.

  29. interesting to try to follow a heated conversation when not everyone fully reads good explanations before they fire off… the explanation of bonuses being an “advance” makes all the ethics and legal chatter void… the release to go to the NFL has been hacked to death — just because Wally or Huff do it doesn’t mean everyone should expect it (the league has to work that one through)… the part-time/full-time work issue IS RELEVANT because, as stated, most careers are short and most college grads will be that many years behind their peers if they don’t start at least dabbling in the real world… there are many businesses that will take on a pro football player if that person is willing to live year-round in the city (I did it myself a while back) and most players can get good training hours in and do work all within a 24 hour period partly because most physical fitness experts contend that for every day you seriously workout, you need to take the next day off for maximum benefit. As for Randy as Commish, I’d say we ought to give him a couple years before trying to hang him… he is thoughtful, he is experienced, he didn’t need this job but the CFL sure needed him — players need to understand Football Business 101 before signing their first contract which means “get a solid, reliable, knowledgeable agent — preferably one with some Canadian legal training and maybe even football experience like Ed Molstad for example” Rant all you want, the league is getting better talent-wise and it is going to be better administrative-wise… just make sure that you are thoughtful in your critiques and refrain from disparaging those who are trying to keep these conversations measured…

  30. A contract is a legal binding agreement but not guaranteed. In most cases in the CFL and NFL the player is at the teams mercy as far as upfront bonuses of any kind being honored. Risk to the club is if a player is released due to them not honoring the contract etc. he could come back to beat their butt during the season. Not fair that coaches do not have to honor their contracts but that is how the system works unfortunately.

    • Coaches contracts and players contracts are completely different. As members of a union, the players have to follow the directives of their CBA. The coaches are independent and can work out whatever contract details that are agreed upon by themselves and their employer (the team). It’s not “how the system works”, it’s just following the letter of each respective contract.

  31. CFL lover // February 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm //

    One slight positive perhaps to take away from all this. Because CFL salaries are so low versus other pro leagues the players themselves tend to prepare or at least plan for life after football, they aren’t all blind to the fact they will need a second career, to insinuate otherwise such as the Commissioner may have been doing, no matter how gently or well intentioned, only adds another layer of bad vibes between athletes and management. And while those poor salaries remain an embarrassment to the league as well, in a twisted way it might create a stimulus for the players to plan ahead, more so than certainly a vested NFL guy.

  32. Solara2000 // February 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm //

    Give it a break ‘un–named player’. Heard the story about staying in shape. That’s your choice to do so or not and to figure how to do it while leading a semplance of a balanced life. And u know, if the effort is not commensurate with the rewards, well you know the options u have.

    Also where does it say in the Commissionaire’s job description he is the players advocate – sorry bud but that’s the CFLPA’s role. His job is to act on behalf of the owners advocating for their collective best interests for a profitable, sustainable league. Doesn’t mean he can’t understand, agree with or not players perspectives but…

  33. Just because the NFL does not have guaranteed contracts does not make it right. The CFL can’t match salaries, attendance, stadiums, viewership or anything else with the NFL so we have always taken pride in being progressive and being “better”.Whether that means concussion policy or domestic abuse policy. So in this case we can “one Up” the NFL by making all contracts guaranteed. It will set the tone in that the CFL is more honest and has more integrity then the NFL. Also it may attract more/better players as at least the small salary is guaranteed.

    • If you want a league with absolutely nothing but 1 year contracts and teams even closer to the edge of extinction, this is a good formula.

      • the ratio saddles teams by having bidding warz for the rare decent Canadian because the need for them is artificially mandated.

  34. As far as part time jobs go the answer belongs to Johnie Manziel who has shown you can run a flexible Entrepreneurial online-popup business that you can put on ice in the off season..or just keep going with the business if he never plays again. Saw a tweet where he will have a pop up shop selling his egotistical, outrageous, cart before the horse T-shirts outside the Texas [email protected] Basketball arena this weekend. He probably got some sort of street vendor license. I have tweeted James Wilder to sell Go Wild-er T shirts. Players should look into some sort of flexible online or physical business following the Manziel example who may never play football again but is at least using his degree (yes he completed it) from Texas [email protected] On Herr Fussball saw a Raiders QB run down and they have just one back signed and the article said we will have to wait for Napa Valey training camp to find out more. New Coach Gruden was a passionate advocate for Manziel in the 2014 draft run up.

    • Blue rules // February 8, 2018 at 3:34 pm //

      Bernard, flawed thought from the start. Manziel’s ONLY job is selling t-shirts, he doesn’t play football at least not yet. Not to mention his parents are sick rich so success is not necessary, he needs only to appear to be working so he can use Daddy’s car. BTW it’s Johnny not Johnie.

  35. If that player wants to stay anonymous and not use his name, then I wouldn’t take it any more seriously than any anonymous post here – and 3DNation shouldn’t either. I disagree with Butler’s letter, but at least he was enough of a person to put his name behind it.

  36. RFD … Yes the big fat US TV deal. That is why we need hi profile US stars to attract US viewers. Even if you hate him personally Manziel has 2-3 times more Twitter followers then the population of Hamilton. He is selling his tasteless Hoodie line digitally and in pop up shops even though he has no contract for anyone. We need celebrities as much as players. The MLS pioneered this concept by over paying mediocre FIFA football player but top notch Celebrity David Beckham. It worked. It put FIFA Football on the LA map.

  37. No player from the USA is forced to sign a contract . If they don’t like the money or the terms dont come north .

  38. Ron Bates // February 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm //

    This labour problem was quiet until the whispered promises that spread across the land demonstrated why such management people should not have been given that authority! Bonuses off season and roster bonuses seem to beg further examination. Really examined. The movement of Adarius Bowman from the Esks due to proliferation of good receivers is more than good reason for a careful “how to spread out” the deal! Good Luck in 2018. Oh The Commissioner must review BC now and discuss the matter with the owner. As for management and front office wait for the orders and calculate 19k per game!

  39. Re; Toronto Argonauts defense coach Cory Chamblin decides to take a walk south to look for work in the midst of a two year contract. Where’s CFLeague commissioner Ambrosie on that matter? Any statement? The old man and the CFL so out of touch with the current times it’s laughable.

  40. Its been a long time since I’ve seen this amount displeasure displayed between the league and it’s players. Not good on many levels.

  41. Maybe Randy need another job.

  42. Red&White Forever // February 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm //

    How about this: I have a JOB, you play a GAME. You’re lucky in the first place to even have the chance to play a game for a living! If you think you don’t get paid enough to play your game? Then go out and get a REAL job like everyone else. As for working out and working during the off season? Well, how about the former perennial all-star Jon Cornish? He worked at a bank every off season and he was a MOP winner at the same time. It’s called “time management”.

  43. “Let’s start with his assertion that players should work during the offseason,” then ” Does extending the season by a week help players by demanding they stay a week longer away from home without pay? ”

    So what does this unnamed cry baby want? Does think he should work in the off season other than train then alter on complains that he is losing working time in the off season. I give this story and complaint no credibility. Frankly I am tired of hearing this crap. This is stuff for collective bargaining and as a fan I don’t watch and follow the CFL for collective bargaining talk.

    Instead of coming to 3down with this, go to your union rep, fellow players, and management with this.

  44. Cut the BS. Ambrosie is on a Canada wide tour listening to fans right now. When has Orridge bothered with the fans?

    Orridge also brought the league in planet wide disrepute when he took on WADA and the crazy doctor from Montreal.

    Orridge also bungled the rebranding of the league.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that Players have earning opportunities in the off season and should use that time to get ahead. Kevin Glenn serves coffee all off season.

    This is a “hit piece”

  45. Hey folks. Go on YouTube, type “hurling” into the search engine, and watch a few minutes of a truly awesome Irish sport. Those guys are elite athletes (just watch them do what they do for 75 minutes with no substitutions and very few breaks in play) and are totally amateurs — they all have day jobs. This “I need to train full-time” position is just another way of saying “I want to play in the NFL”.

    It’s so obvious to me (as I’ve said before) that the solution to the Wilder thing is the transfer system used across the whole planet in pro soccer. Your agent shops you around the NFL, and if any team wants to give you a tryout they offer to buy out your deal (what’s fifty grand CAD to an NFL team?) plus a little more if the CFL team needs persuading. That compensates the CFL team for taking the chance on the player and “discovering” or developing him — not one of these indignant players ever gives our league or their team credit for this. If you read the Jim Stillwagon story (star Argonauts import DT from the 70s who died last week) you see that a system like this was operating back then. We need it back now.

    I’m glad people have cleared up the other points raised by Joe Player. The truth will set us free.

  46. Dundas dude // February 8, 2018 at 9:59 am //

    I like the idea of players working in the 6 month offseason. Football is a game and a business. The league needs to recognize that fiscal reality dictates what a player can earn. If a player wants to earn more, they are free to play in the NFL. Spring isn’t far away, go Cats!

  47. BC Ticat Fan // February 8, 2018 at 10:06 am //

    First the story on the anonymous Ticats that won’t return if Austin is still with the team and now this article. Is this site the National Enquirer of CFL reporting? Maybe you should hire Marty York!

  48. Who cares if the players have lost faith in Ambrosie.

    He runs the league for the owners, not the players!

    Similar to HR in organizations, they are there for the company, not the employee.

  49. The problem with bonuses is with the word “due”. No one is “due” a roster bonus. It is something you get if the team wishes to retain your services. If it doesn’t, you aren’t “due” anything.

  50. Kelly Bale // February 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm //

    Isn’t it extremely irresponsible to post a scathing peace like this without an author’s name attached? Another unprofessional decision by 3DN.

  51. Randy is a puppet

  52. Randy is fabulous, best CFL commish we have ever had.

  53. I think raw rookies to football should be compelled to 2 year contracts and older more experienced players should be able to sign one year contracts. Also, players who have contracts with February bonuses should be released by mid December so they can pursue other football opportunities or the bonusshould be guaranteed.

  54. Few players play longer then 5 years. It only makes sense to start preparing for life-after-football during your playing days. Kudos to Commish for saying that.

  55. as for guaranteed player contracts, teams would have to save cap space for replacement player of players not performing as expected because both the guaranteed salary of the player and the replacement player would count against the cap. The end result would be lower salaries for all players. A team with 5 million in cap space would probably hold back 1 million so only 4 million would be initially available to sign players at start of season. Those players signing extentions and those signing at the beginning of the year would receive 1 million dollars less in contract money.

  56. CFL = Cluster F League…….are there any adults out there who know how to run a “professional” league?

    So much self inflicted damage……what a waste of good football product.

    Does anyone think these boobs will be able to get a 10 th franchise off the ground in Halifax? Believe it when I see it. Time to hire some professional football executives to run this mess and turn it around before it is down to a 6 team league.

  57. Tiger man // February 9, 2018 at 8:03 am //

    As Drew Edwards pointed out in a recent interview, Randy Ambrosie represents the OWNERS and NOT the players.

    They need to remember that.

  58. Let them go and when they fail miserably DON’T let them back in the CFL.

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