Riders grant release of global receiver Max Zimmermann who signs with Finnish football league

Global receiver Max Zimmermann has signed with the Kuopio Steelers, Finland’s top team.

The Vaahteraliiga in Finland, otherwise known as the American Football Association of Finland, is the highest level of competition in the country.

Zimmermann spent the 2019 season in Canada as one of the global players on the Saskatchewan Roughriders roster. The sixth overall selection in the first-ever CFL European Draft spent almost the entire season on the practice roster, dressing for just one game.

Zimmermann last took the field overseas in Germany during the 2018 season with the Potsdam Royals. The Berlin native played in the German Football League and he was the team’s second leading receiver with 33 catches for 644 yards and nine touchdowns.

All global players who played in the CFL last season were required to sign two-year contracts, which is why it was surprising to see Zimmermann sign with a Finnish team. That’s because the league is still discussing how to properly allow players to pursue other opportunities to earn money playing football after the 2020 CFL season was cancelled.

There is at least one other current Riders player who would garner NFL interest, but the franchise won’t allow Canadians or Americans to seek out possibilities until the league and CFL Players’ Association have come to an agreement and line 16 in standard player contracts needs to be addressed.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.