Salary cap on horizon?

Commissioner Tom Wright will unveil a new salary cap system at the CFL's board of governors meeting...

Commissioner Tom Wright will unveil a new salary cap system at the CFL's board of governors meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. today and tomorrow. (Toronto Sun File/Dave Abel)

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

By the time they leave Phoenix, they hope to be wearing a hard cap.

Both chairman Ken Hildahl and president/CEO Lyle Bauer of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers expect to engage in a healthy debate over an enforceable salary cap when they meet with the rest of the CFL board of governors in Scottsdale, Ariz., today and tomorrow.

"We'd like to get into some serious discussions about salary management," Hildahl said from the Phoenix airport yesterday. "It's something we'd always support."

CFL commissioner Tom Wright will reportedly propose a $3.8-million limit on players' pay per team to be introduced as soon as the 2006 season. The proposal would need approval from six of the nine governors. Both B.C.'s David Braley and Montreal's Robert Wetenhall are reportedly dead set against it. Ottawa's Lonie Glieberman prefers to put it off for a year. Winnipeg is apparently one of five franchises in support of it.

"Overall, I don't think the league has been this healthy for years," Hildahl said. "And we like the direction Tom has taken the league. Sponsorship is way up, and it is becoming more popular all the time. The last piece to put into place is a real salary management system."

Without an enforceable salary cap and with some poor management, the Ottawa, Hamilton and Toronto franchises had been on the brink of elimination the past few years.

"It comes down to the notion of trying to ensure that that we have a strong, competitive balance across the league," Wright told the Edmonton Sun. "It is something that is the hallmark of every league across the continent."

Some reports have suggested that Wright's future could be tied to whether the board accepts the cap proposal.

"I don't really think it would," Hildahl said. "He's been given the job to get a system in place that works, so that (terminating Wright) makes no sense, really. Hopefully, we can avoid that."

Ironically, the board is also expected to discuss expanding the 40-man rosters to 42 at the same time they are proposing salary limits.

"A few extra guys is not totally bad football-wise," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said from Nevada, where he had scouted the Las Vegas Bowl. "Obviously, it would have an economic impact. When we're crunching numbers, are we dividing by 40 or 42? I'd rather divide it by 40, but I could live with it either way."

If that proposal goes through, teams would add one import and one non-import to their active rosters. The governors could advance the trade deadline, too.

Hildahl and Bauer will also give an encouraging update on 2006 Grey Cup preparations.

NEW SAFETY: Bombers signed non-import safety Ian Logan, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound Wilfrid Laurier product who was passed over in last year's draft.

"He's a smaller guy who can run, and he's tough," Taman said. "He can probably push for a role-playing job."

Logan, 23, was a two-time CIS first-team all-star who had 18 1/2 tackles and three interceptions last season.

The signing had little to do with the fact that backup S Ryan Folk is about to become a free agent, Taman said.


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