Insider Talk: Edmonton cleans house, signing bonuses, one-year contracts

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that features anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, and agents — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Edmonton cleaning house, B.C.’s disappointing offence, roster management, signing bonuses heading into the off-season, and the CFL’s problem with player transiency.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next Wednesday for another edition of Insider Talk.

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If CFL teams want to hire young, versatile general managers who can really innovate, maybe they need to stop hiring Wally Buono as a consultant. Wally’s a legend and I’m not discrediting anything he’s done, but the man is 71. Is he going to recommend someone who’s young and dynamic or someone who wants to run the team like it’s 1995?




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The two areas in which (fired Elks’ general manager) Brock (Sunderland) really struggled, outside of the obvious culture issues, were the salary cap and Canadian talent. I wasn’t surprised to see him get fired.

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Everyone’s talking about Calgary bringing back (Reggie) Begelton and Saskatchewan getting Duke (Williams) late in the year but it looks like Toronto’s going to get (injured receiver) Eric Rogers back for the East Final. That’s just as good of a late-season add as any if you ask me.

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Jordan Maksymic’s offence (in B.C.) was disappointing this year but it’s tough to blame him, frankly. He’s a young coordinator and he’s on his own. With the staff cap it’s not like the old days when you could have veteran assistants there to guide him.

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When players finish the year on the practice roster they immediately become free agents, so teams will often dress them the final week of the season to retain their rights. They’ll say it’s to “evaluate talent” but it’s really about protecting their starters and preventing their developmental players from leaving.

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We need to go back to one-and-ones (instead of having one-year contracts for veteran players). Top players never played out their option years anyway, we always re-signed them early. It’s a win-win. Players might make a little less in the meantime, but they’ll have longer careers. When a player loses a step, they’re more likely to stick around for an extra year or two if they’ve been with the same team forever and provide the intangibles and leadership the team is looking for.

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I was happy to see Landon Rice get the nod for Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in Montreal. He’s done an admirable job at right tackle there and fits their offence well.

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Any signing bonuses going out before the end of the year are just teams spending whatever leftover dollars they have from 2021. Once the new year starts, you won’t see signing bonuses except for really big names. Not until a new CBA is signed anyway.

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