|2020 CFL season|
|Duration||June 11, 2020 – October 31, 2020|
|Start date||November 8, 2020|
|108th Grey Cup|
|Date||November 22, 2020|
|Site||Mosaic Stadium, Regina|
The 2020 CFL season will be the 67th season of modern Canadian professional football. Officially, it is the 63rd season of the league. The regular season will begin on June 11, 2020 and end on October 31, 2020, with 18 games being played per team over 21 weeks. Regina is scheduled to host the 108th Grey Cup on November 22, 2020.
CFL news in 2020
According to the new collective bargaining agreement, the 2020 salary cap will be at least $5,300,000 (average of $115,217 per active roster spot). That number is subject to change as players will now have revenue sharing of 20% from broadcast deals with TSN and international deals. The base individual minimum salary increased to $65,000 in 2020 for National and American players and is set at $54,000 for Global players. CFL Draft picks will be subject to a pay scale starting in this season, with first round picks earning $80,000, at maximum, with the lowest round picks earning a maximum of $75,000. All National and Global players signing their first CFL contracts have to sign two-year plus an option contracts while first-year American players must sign one-year plus an option contracts.
The league released the season's full schedule on December 16, 2019 which featured a regular season schedule of 21 weeks for the third consecutive year. This format necessitated three three-game weeks which occurred in weeks 3, 17, and 19. The regular season opening game will be hosted by the Edmonton Eskimos as they face the BC Lions on June 11, 2020. The 107th Grey Cup rematch will take place in Week 1, but the winning team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, will be on the road against the hosting Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Notably, the 2020 schedule saw the return of the Thanksgiving Day Classic following its first absence in 2019. The schedule will also feature the Toronto Argonauts as the host to a yet-to-be-announced neutral site game, the second year in a row, on July 25, 2020 versus the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The league also decided to feature fewer triple header days, with only the weekend after the traditional Labour Day Classics featuring three games in one day. The Labour Day Classic featuring the Roughriders and Blue Bombers will start later with a 5:00pm local time start as opposed to the more usual 1:00pm start.
For the second year in a row, the league will feature consistent scheduling of Saturday prime time games, with 19 of 21 weeks featuring a 7:00pm EDT game on Saturday night. There will also be Thursday night games for the first 13 weeks of the season, but no double-headers on any Thursday. Friday night games will be played on every weekend except for Labour Day weekend and feature seven double-headers including four instances where games overlap by 30 minutes. Only one game will be played on a Sunday (the Labour Day Weekend game) and three will be played on Mondays (two Labour Day games and the one Thanksgiving game). There will be no games played on Canada Day despite the Ottawa Redblacks and Montreal Alouettes both receiving a bye week before their July 2 match up. The regular season will end on October 31, 2020, which will be the first time that the league does not play regular season games in November since 2006. The final week will also feature inter-divisional match ups for the first time since the 2017 CFL season.
The 2020 free agency period officially began on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 12pm EST. Pending free agents and teams were able to negotiate offers for one week starting February 2, 2020 at 12pm EST and ending February 9, 2020 at 12pm EST. Previously, players and teams could only discuss potential contracts once the free agency period had started. All formal offers to a player during this time will be sent to both the league and the players union and could not be rescinded. Once that negotiating window closed, all teams had until February 11, 2020 at 10am EST to exclusively negotiate with their own pending free agents, including being able to review contract offers that their players received from other teams. Thereafter, players had two hours to review all offers that they have received and may select one and inform the league. If that player did not select any contract offer in that period, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The most prominent signings during the free agency period are listed in the table below:
|Team||Top 30 Free Agents (CFL.ca rank)|
|BC Lions||Micah Johnson (8)|
|Calgary Stampeders||Sean McEwen (11)|
|Edmonton Eskimos||Mike Moore* (17)|
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats||Ja’Gared Davis* (4), Dylan Wynn* (7), Larry Dean (19), Frankie Williams* (20), Jumal Rolle* (28)|
|Montreal Alouettes||Geno Lewis* (16), Ciante Evans* (29)|
|Ottawa Redblacks||Nick Arbuckle (6), Lewis Ward* (12), Cleyon Laing (13), Don Unamba (21)|
|Toronto Argonauts||Matt Nichols (2), McLeod Bethel-Thompson* (14), DaVaris Daniels (23), Juwan Brescacin (27)|
|Saskatchewan Roughriders||Shaq Evans* (9), Cameron Judge* (10), Solomon Elimimian* (18), Ed Gainey* (22)|
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers||Willie Jefferson* (1), Zach Collaros* (3), Darvin Adams* (24)|
|Free Agents||Derel Walker (5), C.J. Gable (30)|
|Other||Derek Dennis (15 - XFL), Chris Streveler (25 – NFL), S.J. Green (26 – XFL)|
*denotes the player was re-signed by their original team
On December 13, 2019, the CFLPA filed a grievance against the league regarding the NFL window. According to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was ratified between the league and players in May 2019, all players under contract would be eligible to pursue NFL opportunities for a specified period of time during the offseason. However, the CFL and NFL are not able to come to an agreement on the parameters of this process. The CFL wants all players who do not make the final 53-man NFL rosters to return to their parent CFL club. The NFL however, wants to be able to place these potential CFL Transfer Window players on their practice rosters. At present only players who are not under contact are eligible to work out for, or sign with an NFL team. However, as a show of good-faith many teams granted their players a release from their contracts so they could pursue NFL opportunities.
The in-season trade deadline is on October 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm EDT.
Following their introduction in the 2019 season, the league will have two active roster spots for players designated as "global" players for each team. Each team will also have up to three spots on their practice rosters for global players. 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.
The league will feature international combines to allocate designated global players to CFL rosters. The league held the first of these scouting combines in Finland and Sweden on January 11 and 12, 2020, respectively. In the following week, on January 17, 2020, a scouting combine took place in Paris. Additional combines were announced on November 5, 2019, to be held in a total of seven different countries and spanning three months. As of February 14, 2020, 11 total combines were scheduled with additional combines added in Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, and another in Japan. The players will be evaluated by CFL head office staff and the Director of Global Scouting, Greg Quick. The top players identified will then be invited to the CFL National Combine in Toronto which will take place from March 26 to 28. All of the participating global players will be eligible to be selected in the 2020 CFL Global Draft which will take place on April 16, 2020. The order of the draft will follow the same waiver priority as the CFL National Draft (reverse 2019 standings with Grey Cup participants picking last) as opposed to the lottery systems from the previous year's separate LFA and European drafts. Complete details of the Global Draft have not yet been announced.
|Date||Location||Player origins||Partnering League/Association|
|January 11||Helsinki, Finland||Scandinavia, Northern Europe||American Football Association of Finland|
|January 12||Norrköping, Sweden||Scandinavia, Northern Europe||Swedish American Football Federation|
|January 17||Paris, France||France||French American Football Federation|
|January 25||Florence, Italy||Italy||Federazione Italiana di American Football|
|January 25||Bristol, England||United Kingdom||British American Football Association|
|January 26||Frankfurt, Germany||Germany, Austria and GFL players||German Football League|
|February 1||Tokyo, Japan||Japan||Japan National Football Association|
|February 2||Osaka, Japan||Japan||Japan National Football Association|
|February 29||Copenhagen, Denmark||Scandinavia, Northern Europe||Not announced|
|March 7||Belo Horizonte, Brazil||Brazil||Confederação Brasileira de Futebol Americano|
|March 14–15||Mexico City, Mexico||Mexico||Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional|
Atlantic Canada expansion
On December 10, 2019, the proposed revival of the Atlantic Schooners expansion team received a $20 million one-time rebate from the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) government towards the building of a stadium in Halifax, Nova Scotia, conditionally upon support from the government of Nova Scotia and building the stadium at an alternate site after the HRM council rejected building at the proposed site in Shannon Park. Ownership of the Schooners had originally hoped to start playing during the 2020 season in Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium in Moncton, New Brunswick while the new stadium would be built, but, as of December 2019, were planning to start play during the 2022 CFL season. The previous iteration of the Schooners failed in 1983 before playing a single game due to failure to secure funding for a stadium.
Football operations cap
For the second consecutive season, the league will impose cap regulations on coaching and operations staff, with the total compensation of the combined 11 coaches and 14 other football operations staff being set at $2,588,000. In the same manner as the player salary cap, teams that exceed the cap by up to $100,000 will be penalized the same amount they are over and for teams that exceed the cap by over $100,000, they will also forfeit draft picks.
Montreal Alouettes ownership
On May 31, 2019 the Montreal Alouettes officially became a collectively-owned ward of the CFL after Robert Wetenhall surrendered ownership. The CFL continued to operate the team for the remainder of the 2019 season. On January 6, 2020, after months of speculation and rumours, the league announced that they had sold the franchise to Sid Spiegel and Gary Stern of Crawford Steel.
|Team||2019 HC||2020 HC||Notes|
|Ottawa Redblacks||Rick Campbell||Paul LaPolice||On November 4, 2019, head coach Rick Campbell and the Ottawa Redblacks announced that they were parting ways with Campbell having one year left on his contract. Campbell had been the team's only coach since their inaugural season in 2014, but the team struggled in 2019 after losing many star veteran players and their offensive coordinator shortly before the season began. On December 7, 2019, the Redblacks announced that they had hired Paul LaPolice as their head coach. LaPolice has been coaching with four different CFL teams since joining the league in 2000, and had been the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 2010 to 2012 (16–28 record, 1–1 in the playoffs).|
|BC Lions||DeVone Claybrooks||Rick Campbell||On November 6, 2019, the BC Lions announced that DeVone Claybrooks had been relieved of his head coaching duties for the team. Claybrooks completed his first season as head coach of the team in 2019, leading the Lions to a disappointing 5–13 record, including a 0–10 record within the West Division. On December 2, 2019 the Lions announced Rick Campbell as the team's 27th head coach. Campbell had spent the previous six seasons as the head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks.|
|Edmonton Eskimos||Jason Maas||Scott Milanovich||After much deliberation and speculation, the Edmonton Eskimos announced on November 27, 2019 that Jason Maas had been relieved as head coach of the team. Maas had spent four years with the team, compiling a 39–33 record and a 3–3 record in the playoffs. However, the team was perceived to have underachieved in the regular season by finishing no higher than third place during his tenure and missing the playoffs in 2018. In the middle of December Scott Milanovich agreed to terms with the Edmonton Eskimos to become their 22nd head coach. Most recently Milanovich had been the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) for the previous three seasons, prior to which he was the head coach of the Toronto Argonauts from 2012 through 2016 (43–47 record), leading the Argos to victory in the 100th Grey Cup.|
|Toronto Argonauts||Corey Chamblin||Ryan Dinwiddie||After a lengthy review of the coaching staff, it was announced on December 12, 2019 that Corey Chamblin had been relieved of his duties and that Ryan Dinwiddie was hired as the team's head coach. This will be Dinwiddie's first head coaching position after serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Calgary Stampeders from 2016 to 2019. If there are no other head coaching changes, Dinwiddie will be the only rookie head coach in the CFL in 2020.|
On November 21, 2019, the CFL announced it would continue giving TSN and RDS exclusive rights to the league's broadcasts across all platforms in a long-term agreement. Independent reports indicated that the agreement extended to 2025, adding four additional years to the existing agreement that had been set to expire after 2021; TSN has held exclusive rights to all CFL telecasts since 2008.
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Collective Bargaining Agreement
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Collective Bargaining Agreement
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