CFL reinstates NFL window into player contracts

Teams around the Canadian Football League have voted to reinstate the NFL window.

But there is a catch.

That means players such as James Wilders Jr. or Johnny Manziel won’t be able to entertain NFL options in the winter. Wilder Jr. and defensive lineman Victor Butler expressed frustration that the Toronto Argonauts wouldn’t allow them to pursue lucrative NFL opportunities last off-season. Both players signed two-year deals with the Grey Cup-champion Argos prior to the 2017 campaign.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie had said it was too late for the league to look at the matter for 2018.

“The window to change the rule for this year has passed but that doesn’t mean it has to stay closed forever,” Ambrosie said in February.

The CFL used to have an option window starting in 1997, which gave players entering the final year or option year of their deals roughly a six-week stretch to work out for and sign with NFL teams, but that practice ended in 2012 when it was phased out as part of the collective bargaining process.

Six years later the NFL window has returned.

-with CP files