Mitchell calls for ‘damn’ CBA to be signed, Ambrosie refers to bargaining talks as ‘great unknown’

As Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell collected another CFL outstanding player award, the franchise pivot had a not-so-subtle message for the league and its players: Get a deal done.

The CFL and CFL Players’ Association will begin talks this off-season on a new collective bargaining agreement as the present deal expires in May 2019.

Negotiations the last time around were testy before a deal was eventually hammered out. This upcoming round is expected to again be contentious with the union already unhappy the league won’t be giving players signing bonuses until after a new deal is reached.

“I think I can speak for every single person here. To the CFL, to the CFLPA: Get the damn thing signed,” Mitchell said Thursday night.

“I think we agree we want something fair, so does the league. I stand strong with my brothers in the union and I want us to get the best deal we can but I also want to see a deal signed and this league up and running as fast as possible.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie responded to Mitchell’s strong statement regarding the CBA during his annual state of the league address on Friday in Edmonton.

“It’s the great unknown,” Ambrosie said.

“I think there is a great attitude. I’m optimistic, I really am. I think we can sit down with the players shortly after the season and lay out a path to put in place a deal that’s fair for both sides, for the players and for the league and for our teams. And I’m absolutely confident that we’re going to get to a solution and get back to playing football at the start of the 2019 season.”

– with CP files

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