Most players just regular joes

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:47 AM ET

When the NHL had its season-long lockout, the general public felt no sympathy for million-dollar hockey players.

There are no millionaires toiling in the CFL.

A possible labour dispute resulting in a work stoppage in the CFL seems unlikely, but it could happen this June.

Considering that the average CFL salary is around $60,000 -- or what the average second-line winger makes every two weeks in the NHL -- the court of public opinion would likely side with the union in this case.

Entire CFL teams get paid $4.2-million per season (the current league cap) and the minimum is $41,000 for rookies. Last season, a total of 22 players collected less than the minimum because they did not spend the full season on the active roster.

These are regular guys working interesting jobs.

Now, few would dispute that CFL players are overworked.

The practice day is limited to four and a half hours, which includes warmups, no more than a two-hour practice and meetings.

The season starts with the gruelling training camp in June and ends with the Grey Cup every November, but the difference between the CFL and NFL is the down time.

There are no obligations for players from December and May, and many get off-season jobs to help make ends meet.

Those jobs also come in handy if a player is suddenly cut and is without a paycheque the following week.

Even if a player has a contract, they could be moved to the practice roster for a week, and that would mean collecting about $500 for his services.

The highest-paid players -- quarterbacks -- can range from $200,000 for a new starter to $400,000 for the elite, which is only a handful of pivots.


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