2021 CFL season

Last updated

2021 CFL season
Regular season
DurationAugust 5, 2021 – November 20, 2021
Playoffs
Start dateNovember 28, 2021
108th Grey Cup
DateDecember 12, 2021
Site Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton
  2020 (cancelled) CFL seasons 2022  

The 2021 CFL season is scheduled to be the 67th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it would be the 63rd season of the league. The regular season is tentatively scheduled to begin on August 5, 2021 and would end on November 20, 2021. [1] [2] 14 regular season games would be played over 16 weeks. [2] Previously, the season was scheduled to begin on June 10, 2021 and end on October 30, 2021, with 18 games being played per team over 21 weeks, but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. [3] Hamilton is scheduled to host the 108th Grey Cup on December 12, 2021. [4]

Contents

CFL news in 2021

Resumption of play

After the league was forced to cancel the 2020 season because federal and provincial governments forbade attendance at sporting events in an effort to stop the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and refused to provide the subsidies needed to cover the expenses necessary for the season to be held, commissioner Randy Ambrosie in August 2020 guaranteed a return to play in 2021, with full fans in attendance, without regard to the status of the pandemic by that time. [5]

Salary cap

According to the new collective bargaining agreement, the 2021 salary cap is scheduled to be $5,350,000. [6] [7] That number is subject to change as players will now have revenue sharing of 20% from broadcast deals, but may also change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [7] Individual minimum salaries will be set at $65,000 in 2021 for National and American players. [6] Since no 2020 CFL Draft pick signed a contract in the cancelled 2020 season, this will be the first season with all CFL Draft picks subject to a pay scale, with the first overall pick earning approximately $85,000. [6]

Schedule

The league originally released the season's full schedule on November 20, 2020 which featured a 21-week regular season schedule. [3] The regular season was scheduled to begin on June 10, 2021 with a rematch of the 107th Grey Cup with the defending champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. [3] Notably, the schedule featured more intra-divisional games, with BC, Calgary, and Edmonton playing 12 such games, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg playing 11 divisional games, and the East Division teams playing 10 divisional games (an increase of one to two divisional games per team). [8] This was done to reduce cross-country travel due to COVID-19. The Toronto Argonauts were scheduled to play a neutral site game on July 19, 2021 against the Calgary Stampeders at a location that was supposed to be announced at a later date. [9]

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the league confirmed on April 21, 2021 that the season would be delayed until at least August 5, 2021 with a revised schedule released on June 15, 2021. [1] [2] This version featured 14 regular season games with even more of a focus on intra-divisional games as the Blue Bombers and Redblacks do not play against each other in the regular season and each team plays approximately eight divisional games. [2]

Partnership with the XFL

On March 10, the CFL confirmed it was pursuing discussions with the consortium that owns the XFL about some form of partnership, the details of which were not made public. The XFL, which was slated to return in 2022 following its abrupt shutdown and sale in March 2020, paused plans to return pending the results of those discussions. [10]

Global players

After first being introduced for the 2019 CFL season, the league is scheduled to feature two active roster spots for players designated as "global" players for each team. [11] Each team would also have up to three spots on their practice rosters for global players. [11] Global players are defined as those who do not hold Canadian or American citizenship nor do they qualify as a National player in any other way. [12] This is subject to change after the cancellation of Global Combines in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [13]

Player movement

Signing moratorium

With the 2020 CFL season initially postponed and then ultimately cancelled, the league had placed a moratorium on re-signing players. Teams will be able to re-sign players after December 7, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET. [14]

Free agency

The 2021 free agency period officially began on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. ET. [15] [14] Similar to the previous off-season, pending free agents and teams were able to negotiate offers for one week starting Sunday, January 31, 2021 ending Sunday, February 7, 2021. [16] All formal offers to a player during this time would be sent to both the league and the players union and cannot be rescinded. [16] [17]

Broadcasting

The CFL will continue to be broadcast on TSN and RDS across all platforms in Canada as part of their current contract. [18] The broadcast rights are reported to have been extended through 2025. [19]

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2020 BC Lions season

The 2020 BC Lions season was scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and their 67th overall. Training camps, pre-season games, and regular season games were initially postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL announced on April 7, 2020 that the start of the 2020 CFL season would not occur before July 2020. On May 20, 2020, it was announced that the league would likely not begin regular season play prior to September 2020. On August 17, 2020 however, the season was officially cancelled due to COVID-19.

2020 Montreal Alouettes season

The 2020 Montreal Alouettes season was scheduled to be the 54th season for the team in the Canadian Football League and their 66th overall.

2020 Calgary Stampeders season

The 2020 Calgary Stampeders season was scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League and their 76th overall. Training camps, pre-season games, and regular season games were initially postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta. The CFL announced on April 7, 2020 that the start of the 2020 season would not occur before July 2020. On May 20, 2020, it was announced that the league would likely not begin regular season play prior to September 2020. On August 17, 2020 however, the season was officially cancelled due to COVID-19.

2020 Edmonton Football Team season

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2020 Saskatchewan Roughriders season

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2020 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season

The 2020 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season was scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League and their 71st overall. This would have been the second season under co-general managers Drew Allemang and Shawn Burke and the second season under head coach Orlondo Steinauer.

2020 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season

The 2020 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season was scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and their 88th season overall. The Blue Bombers would have entered the season as the defending Grey Cup champions for the first time in 29 years, having ended the franchise's lengthy drought with the previous year's championship win in the 107th Grey Cup game. This would have been the seventh season under head coach Mike O'Shea and the seventh full season under general manager Kyle Walters.

2021 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season

The 2021 Winnipeg Blue Bombers season is scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and their 88th season overall. The Blue Bombers will enter the season as the defending Grey Cup champions for the first time in 30 years, having ended the franchise's lengthy drought with last year's championship win in the 107th Grey Cup game. The team will attempt to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and win their 12th Grey Cup championship.

2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season

The 2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season is scheduled to be the 63rd season for the team in the Canadian Football League and their 71st overall. The Tiger-Cats will attempt to qualify for the playoffs for the third consecutive year and win their ninth Grey Cup championship. This is scheduled to be the second season under co-general managers Drew Allemang and Shawn Burke and the second season under head coach Orlondo Steinauer.

2021 Ottawa Redblacks season

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References

  1. 1 2 "CFL Announces Plans To Return-to-play For 2021 Season". cfl.ca. April 21, 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Circle your calendars: CFL releases 2021 schedule". Canadian Football League. June 15, 2021.
  3. 1 2 3 "2021 CFL Schedule". cfl.ca. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  4. "Going for Two: CFL awards 2020 and 2021 Grey Cups". cfl.ca. February 21, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  5. "CFL cancels 2020 season, 'committed' to 2021". TSN. August 17, 2020.
  6. 1 2 3 Staff, 3Down. "UPDATED: What we know about the new CBA | 3DownNation" . Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  7. 1 2 TSN ca Staff (May 15, 2019). "New CFL collective bargaining agreement will be three-year deal - TSN.ca". TSN. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  8. "Divisional games take centre stage in unique 2021 schedule". cfl.ca. November 20, 2020.
  9. "2021 CFL schedule released". Toronto Argonauts. November 20, 2020.
  10. Middleton, Marc. "XFL and CFL Enter Into Talks, 2022 Relaunch Season Likely To Be Delayed". WrestlingHeadlines.com. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  11. 1 2 "CFL Combine planned for Paris, France in 2020". press.cfl.ca. October 4, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  12. "CFLPA sends memo to players detailing changes to CBA". 3DownNation. January 8, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  13. "CFL cancels 2020 season, 'committed' to 2021". TSN. August 17, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  14. 1 2 "CFL gears up for 2021". CFL.ca. December 4, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  15. "Official 2021 free agent tracker". cfl.ca. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  16. 1 2 "Negotiating window a new feature of 2020 free agency". CFL.ca. January 27, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  17. "Details for the CFL's new negotiating window prior to free agency". CFL.ca. January 27, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  18. "CFL and TSN extend rights on long-term deal". tsn.ca. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  19. "BARNES: CFL agrees to new six-year TV deal with TSN". Toronto Sun. September 6, 2019.