Published on October 13, 2009 10:50 PM by dbo.
Following Stephen Brunt’s article Sunday regarding Kerry Joseph coming back into the game Saturday night after coach Andrus declared he had a concussion at half-time, it has been the topic on Prime Time Sports on The Fan 590 Radio Network for two nights in a row. This is an important topic to challenge the Argos and the CFL on as not respecting the safety and health of its players reflects poorly on the CFL and its member franchises. Let’s clarify some of the facts being reported though.
The Argos are saving approximately $2,000 a game by not dressing a third quarterback.
The minimum salary in the CFL in 2009 is $41,000 or a game cheque of about $2,300. Practice roster players make about $500/week, so the difference is about $1,800. It is unlikely a third-string QB, even a first year player, would sign for the league minimum. I would guess most third-string QB’s make $50-60,000, but I have no inside knowledge of CFL player salaries. It appears though the Argonauts could be saving $1,800 to $2,800 per game or $32,000 to $50,000 per year.
Without a third quarterback dressed, the Argos had no choice but to put Joseph back in.
If Joseph’s injury excluded him from playing, there were other choices, all with less ramifications that putting a concussed player back in the game. First, Cody Pickett could have stayed in the game if possible, handed off the ball or operated out of the wildcat formation with direct snaps to Jamal Robertson if he was unable to throw the ball. The next option would be to go to your emergency QB, Jason Carter. Teams which dress three quarterbacks have to go to their emergency backup when they lose 3 QB’s to injury, which sometimes happens. This situation was no different except the Argos ran out of QB’s sooner. There are always options, perhaps not appealing ones, but options none the same.
Other teams always dress three quarterbacks.
While true in general, there have been games since the third quarterback position was established in the 1980’s where teams have not dressed a third quarterback for a single game or two due to sickness or injury. This is the first time a team has left their roster short 1 QB all season however.
This is a cost savings measure by the Argos because they are in financial trouble.
This has nothing to do with the financial well being of the owners or franchise and everything to do with the salary cap. It is possible that injuries, revolving positions at receivers and off-season bonuses has meant the Argos were projected to go over the salary cap and this cost savings measure was helping them stay below the cap or the first $100,000 threshold. It seems to be a move by General Manager Adam Rita rather than owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, who expressed surprise that their club was not dressing a full roster.