Stamps’ Dave Dickenson calls NFL window in CFL contracts ‘asinine’

Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson isn’t a fan of the NFL window being reinstated in player contracts.

“I personally think it’s asinine that the league allows this. Why we let these guys get out of these contracts, I have no idea. I don’t know who makes these decisions. I know it isn’t a favourite of mine of Huf. Why they think that helps our league, I have no idea,” Dickenson said.

“Because if you sign for Bo Levi Mitchell for four years, and he can get out of his contract the next year, is that really something that’s good for our league? I shook my head when I heard it was possible that they were thinking about it. As a coach you like to have at least an idea of who your team is going to be.”

Teams around the Canadian Football League voted to bring back the NFL window in July 2018. The Stamps have players who are going to garner NFL interest: receiver Reggie Begelton, linebacker Nate Holley and defensive back Tre Roberson.

“The CFL needs to take some pride and believe that this is a great league and that people want to play in our league. You’re never going to tell a guy not to go. It’s definitely thrown a huge wrench into our off-season, a wrench that didn’t really need to be thrown,” Dickenson said.

“Our league opened up something that didn’t need to. There’s my rant, there’s my two cents on that, it’s not going to change it any, which is frustrating. A little bit more forward thinking on our part would have helped.”

Current franchise quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell worked out for a number of NFL teams last off-season. The Minnesota Vikings did not want Mitchell to cause a QB controversy. All-star linebacker Alex Singleton signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and defensive end James Vaughters is playing for the Chicago Bears — key members of the 2018 Grey Cup championship team.

“Since they did open up that loophole, I don’t really think long-term contracts benefit us as a team anymore. That can also hurt players too because they have a chance to get money in the off-season, force our hand,” Dickenson said.

The CFL had an option windows starting in 1997, which gave players entering the final year or option year of their deals roughly a six-week stretch in the off-season — December to mid-January — to work out for and sign with NFL teams. That practice ended in 2012 when it was phased out as part of the collective bargaining process.

Dickenson wants to develop his players, but not have to worry about losing them.

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