It appears that the CFL’s football operations types are learning that the shoe doesn’t fit quite fit so well on the other foot.
This week, the Riders and now former vice president of football operations John Murphy announced that the two sides decided to mutually part ways. In most years, it’s newsworthy but it’s something that happens on a fairly regular basis. Football operations departments are always changing, especially in the CFL where many are looking for a big break in either the NCAA or the NFL.
This year? It’s more than just a usual break up.
This winter is already shaping up to be like no other in CFL history with some 300-plus free-agents, a new collective bargaining agreement to be signed, coaching jobs to be filled and work on a new stadium in Halifax.
Murphy and the Riders became a part of this story when the Athletic’s Kirk Penton, who we have no reason not to believe, reported that Murphy decided it was time to move on after he turned down a 10 per cent pay cut that Chris Jones and the remaining members of the football operations department have presumably agreed to take, on top of number of people who have lost their jobs (as an aside, I wonder if Murphy’s lost salary means some can come back?) It’s believed that Murphy felt the team should have held up their end of the deal they signed three years ago.
A man who’s probably sat across from how many players over the course of his career telling them they need to take a pay cut or risk being cut refused to take one himself? Huh.
The irony is pretty delicious.
In fairness, in those instances Murphy would have merely been doing his job. Perhaps even at the request of his bosses be it Jones, John Hufnagel or anyone else he’s worked with over the years. It’s entirely possible that Murphy didn’t agree with any or all of those decisions.
Either way, he’s a grown man who made what he thought was the best decision for his career at this time. Considering CFL teams across the league are likely in the same boat now, you’d have to think Murphy will now be looking south of the border for his next job.
What this new football operations salary cap has done is open the eyes of the people who have put the players through this kind of treatment for years. Will it change their thinking? Probably not. Should the players fight for better contracts and more guaranteed money like their football operation counterparts have? Absolutely. Will they get it? Who knows?
At the very least, the demands of a salary cap goes both ways now.