Ambrosie on NFL opportunities for CFL players: it’s worthy of discussion

In the wake of a statement from Toronto running back James Wilder Jr. that he would sit out next season and a blistering piece from Toronto defensive end Victor Butler over their inability to pursue NFL opportunities, TSN’s Dave Naylor has some thoughts from CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie on the subject.

The CFL did have a mechanism designed to address the issue: the so-called “option window.” Starting in 1997, the CFL allowed players a two-month period in the final or option year of their contract to work out for and potentially sign with NFL teams. It continued until 2012 when it was phased out as part of the collective bargaining process.

Given that Ambrosie and the league can’t prevent teams some releasing players as they fit, the most logical solution would be to provide a mechanism that would allow players to pursue the NFL while still under contract in the CFL. Given that’s a function of the collective bargaining the CFLPA would have to be involved.

At any rate, it would seem as though Wilder and Butler have sparked a much-needed discussion that could help players and the league’s credibility in the long run.