There won’t be any punishments for CFL players who decide not to play if there happens to be a 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Canadian Press reporter Dan Ralph: A CFL player opting out of a potential shortened season won’t be paid, but could still hit free agency this winter if he’s in the final year of his contract.
According to a league source, CFL players with safety concerns could decide against playing in 2020, without penalty.
A CFL player opting out won’t be paid, but the term of his contract would continue. So if the player was in the final year of his deal, he’d still be eligible to become a free agent in February.
Former Montreal Alouettes running back James Wilder Jr. decided to retire from the CFL due to the uncertainty surrounding a condensed schedule this year. Wilder Jr. had signed a one-year contract with the Als for the 2020 season in January, which included a $25,000 signing bonus.
Reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player Brandon Banks won’t put on a helmet until 2021 because he didn’t believe it was worth strapping up during the coronavirus crisis. He stated potentially taking the field for 33 percent of his contract was effectively the same as Americans playing for free.
Canadian offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFL player to opt out of his contract for the 2020 season due to COVID-19. The Super Bowl winner was set to make $2.75 million this year on a renegotiated contract, but will receive $150,000 after opting out.
Unlike the NFL clause, Wilder Jr. and Banks won’t receive any compensation. They are two recognizable CFL players that let their intentions be known publicly. Many others have been quietly working other jobs and are prepared for the worst case scenario: no games in 2020.