There are moments in time that leave you speechless. On Tuesday, it came via a single tweet from an unexpected source.
It was a tweet from @CFL_News, an account that generally shares stories from across the CFL, broke a massive story. The story.
Sources say #Riders Head Coach Chris Jones has interviewed today with the Cleveland Browns & they are hiring him in a defensive capacity. Details to come. Jones had an NFL out clause in his #CFL contract.
Expect Jeremy O'Day to take over as GM. pic.twitter.com/7OXXCqWUyb
— CFL News (@CFL_News) January 15, 2019
The waiting game was on. Was there something to this? Oh yeah, there was. 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk and TSN’s Dave Naylor would go on to confirm the news.
Once again, Professor Chaos has made his way to Saskatchewan and this might be his best work yet.
You can pretty much count on something chaotic happening in Riderville, whether it’s on the field or off it. During the Chris Jones era alone we had the departures of John Chick, Weston Dressler and Darian Durant. The embarrassing loss to the Alouettes. The pre-practice roster squad. The Johnny Manziel stuff. Jones looking into Greg Hardy. Vince Young. Trent Richardson actually joining the team and then leaving before his deal was done.
This is hardly unique to the Jones era either.
Corey Chamblin had the Dewdney incident, Durant twice suffering serious injuries, Tino Sunseri, Tino Sunseri again, and, oh, Tino Sunseri in Ottawa. Greg Marshall was a coach for like a month. Brendan Taman was at one point a general manager while his boss was also his head coach. Kent Austin departed after winning a Grey Cup. Many of the off-field incidents by players under Danny Barrett and Roy Shivers. Eric Tillman both on and off the field.
I could go on, but you get it.
Chaos seems to find a way to Saskatchewan and the fall out from this moment might top just about everything we’ve seen, at least in terms of football-related stuff.
You’ll remember it was just a week ago that the Riders announced their football operations coaching staff for 2019. Their team was in place and the plan was in place. So much for all that.
With a month to go before the doors swing open on free agency, the Riders now need a new vice president of football operations, general manager, head coach and defensive coordinator. Oh, and thanks to the new football operations spending cap, that also caps the number of people a team is allowed to hire, the team is now going to have to get creative to fill those voids.
In the end, we all probably should have seen this coming. Jones joined the Riders in a cloud of chaos following a Grey Cup win in Edmonton. It was always going to end like this. I just thought it would be in a year, not now. All of his departures have been similar, in some form or another. Jones looks out for himself and is loyal to no one and I don’t blame him for it. Football is a cut throat business and you have to be just as brass to survive.
What’s next? Who knows. If history tells us anything, it’s sure to be a wild ride.