The CFL and CFL Players’ Association have reached another tentative agreement.
According to a league source, the two sides hammered out a second agreement in principle Thursday, two days after CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie unveiled the league’s final offer to its players.
The source spoke on the condition of anonymity as neither the CFL nor the CFLPA have confirmed the deal.
The new agreement is pending ratification by both the CFL Players’ Association membership and league’s board of governors. According to two sources, the players will vote on the deal Thursday night.
Time is of the essence as the CFL exhibition schedule is slated to kick off Friday night with two games.
On Monday, the players voted against a tentative deal that the union had recommend they accept. The CFLPA is also recommending acceptance of Thursday’s tentative agreement.
Teams can move to three nationalized Canadians in 2024 but the two franchises that play the most Canadians at the end of the season will receive additional draft picks.
The CFL will also provide $1.25 million in a ratification pool for players.
The two sides had been at odds regarding the Canadian ratio.
But the agreement also called for CFL teams to increase the number of Canadian starters from seven to eight. The extra would be a nationalized Canadian.
In addition, three other nationalized Canadians could play up to 49 per cent of all snaps on either side of the ball. And the deal also didn’t include a ratification bonus.
And despite a recommendation to accept from the union, the players voted against ratifying the deal.
On Tuesday, Ambrosie unveiled an amended proposal that included a $1-million ratification pool and the abolition of the three nationalized Canadians playing 49 per cent of snaps. However, it also reduced the number of Canadian starters to seven, including one nationalized Canadian.
Not only did Ambrosie say it was the CFL’s final offer, but it was good until midnight ET on Thursday, given the league’s exhibition schedule was slated to begin Friday night with two games. Ambrosie added if the players rejected the offer and opted to go back on strike, they’d be served notice to vacate their respective training-camp facilities.
It marked the second time Ambrosie had gone public with a final contract offer to the CFLPA. On May 14, he posted a letter to fans on the league’s website detailing the league’s proposal to players hours before the former CBA was set to expire.
The next day, players on seven CFL teams opted against reporting to training camp and went on strike. The Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders both opened camp as schedule because they weren’t in a legal strike position, as per provincial labor laws, at the time.
It marked just the second work stoppage in league history and first since 1974.