Kory Sheets and the Riders won the 2013 Grey Cup; did exceeding the cap help them?Wednesday's news that the Saskatchewan Roughriders were the only team to exceed the CFL's salary cap in 2013 (they spent $4,417,975 in salaries, $17,975 over the cap) is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, this breaks one pattern; the 2011 and 2012 seasons both saw no team go over the cap, the first seasons since at least 2007 with no violations. However, it reinforces another pattern of Saskatchewan being the team most willing to flirt with the cap line; the Roughriders were over the cap in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and they've committed four of the six reported cap violations under the salary management system first implemented in 2006. (The others came from Montreal in 2007 and Winnipeg in 2009).
The CFL has a sliding system of cap-violation penalties, though, and Saskatchewan has never exceeded the cap by enough to pay any penalty beyond a monetary fine (unlike the Alouettes, who lost a first-round draft pick in 2007 for exceeding the cap by $108,285). Thus, in essence, the Riders are just simply working with a higher cap than the rest of the league. Is that desirable, or should the cap rules be tightened to prevent it? There's a chance to revisit the rules this year thanks to the ongoing CBA negotiations, so it's worthwhile exploring how they currently work and how they could change.Read More »from Should the CFL go to a harder salary cap?