After weeks of rumours and bids from Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary, the CFL has officially announced that Winnipeg is the tentative hub city should there be a 2020 season.
There are still many things to be done and negotiated for the CFL and CFLPA, but a large hurdle has now been cleared. One thing that we do know right now is that players will be allowed to opt-out of the season if they feel it is the right option for them.
That option has already been exercised by Hamilton Tiger-Cats star wide receiver, Brandon Banks.
“I [don’t know] what they are going to do, but I won’t put a helmet on until 2021,” said Banks in response to a fan on Twitter. “I will play my 2020 contract agreements in 2021. I wouldn’t do a great organization that’s been behind me for eight years like that.”
This also isn’t confirmation that there will be a 2020 season. Players and the league will still need to negotiate the details to get players on the field by September, the deadline the league hopes to meet that was set when the season was officially delayed.
Things could soon start to happen quickly for the CFL regarding a 2020 season though.
“Do I think we are going to know if there is going to be a 2020 season on Thursday? Probably not,” said Farhan Lalji in a Tweet. “Do I think we’ll know by Thursday if the CFL & the CFLPA have agreed to an amended CBA for the 2020 season (only)? Probably. Either way, there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Things will have to change, and quickly for the season to get going, however.
“If the CFL offer stands as is, the players will not sign off on it,” said Justin Dunk on the Rod Pederson Show. “The players put out a survey to the members and the no vote was overwhelming. There's still a lot to play out. The Canadian Government is also expected to make a decision soon."
“There is some worry in Ottawa about bringing these players in from all over the United States,” said Dunk. “Health stipulations have to be laid out to the players. They have to adhere to the guidelines. Financial ramifications have to be put in place. If the CFL could have charters with just players, the gov't would feel better about bringing these American players in.”
So there is some good news here with the hub city tentatively being announced, but there is still so much work to do. We will soon be finding out what the plan for the 2020 season is, so the suffering will soon be stopped. Stay tuned.