NFL and CFL Offseason Regulations: Roughriders Slapped on the Wrist
We have learned that the Canadian Football League has fined the Saskatchewan Roughriders $5000 for holding a workout in the off-season. In March, the team held workouts in Miami for its veteran players. Under league rules, teams are allowed to hold one voluntary workout, but are prevented from making them mandatory. Apparently the Riders didn’t get that memo.
For comparison, I wondered what the equivalent rule would be south of the border, and as I anticipated, the rules are a little more flexible. In fact, even after many changes from the league newly decreed this season to decrease off-season activity, the American off-season is much longer and more thorough. The NFL, under the new CBA, allow for nine weeks worth of off-season programming (reduced from 14). In the past, teams could report for workouts in March, now many are not arriving until mid-April.
The NFL’s reasoning for reducing the off-season is for player safety. I guess I buy it. Play less, get injured less. However, that is also assuming players are taking care of themselves for the months when they are not with their respective teams. If they do not, they run the risk of further injuries. This is quite the assumption. Not having personally attended a CFL or NFL training camp, I can only assume there is a wide range of conditioning among attendees. This year will be quite telling in how these new regulations will work.
…and that is the last word.