Should the New York Jets’ efforts to get more salary cap space fall short, there is a source of free-agent professional talent whose low salaries make the NFL’s minimum wages sound princely. It’s the Canadian Football League.
Per the CFL CBA, each CFL team’s 2013 cap is $4.4 million. That’s about $200,000 more than Jets’ linebacker Bart Scott’s 2012 base salary. (Currency exchange rates at this article's publication date are roughly at par.)
Minimum annual salaries in the CFL will be $45,000 in 2013. An NFL rookie will earn $405.000.
This is no surprise to the Jets. They’ve shopped the CFL before.
In 2012, McIntyre consumed $470,000 of the Jets' salary cap. That would have been over 10% of Hamilton’s cap. With the Jets, McIntyre’s compensation used less than 0.5%.
And the Jets are not alone.
CFL players reputedly are undersized by NFL standards. However, the faster pace of the CFL game, with its 20-second play clock, emphasis on passing and three downs to advance 10 yards instead of four, makes its players ideal prospects for teams looking to quicken their games. Plus, the CFL’s 18-game schedule, colder climates and coast-to-coast travel make it an endurance test as well.
Even if the Jets don’t need bargains, they should continue scouting the CFL.