Derek Dennis, a Calgary Stampeders offensive lineman known as “Bonecrusher,” had the best reaction to the overwhelming list of CFL free agents.
Before anyone gets too uptight about 322 players potentially becoming free agents this offseason, Dennis noted the league must first have in place a new collective bargaining agreement with the CFL Players’ Association. The CFLPA’s insistence on allowing one-year contracts is part of the reason for the huge number of pending free agents. Now the PA has begun talking about guaranteed contracts, increased on-field safety and better health benefits.
There might actually be a work stoppage before 2019 training camps open. Considering the always precarious financial state of the CFL, it might not be able to meet many of the union’s demands while understanding a work stoppage could seriously damage the league.
Speculation has already begun about which free agents will re-sign, who will switch teams and who will earn NFL tryouts. CFL teams have been told to not pay offseason bonuses until a new CBA is in place, so any speculation about those 322 free agents is going to be irrelevant until a new deal gets worked out.