CFL Players’ Association details opt out procedures for contracts which expire in February 2021 and 2022

The CFL Players’ Association has provided the details for players who want to opt out of their contracts.

After the league’s board of governors voted to cancel the 2020 season, the CFLPA has been focused on providing options for members who want to seek football employment in other leagues, especially the NFL.

The union detailed the opt out options for its athletes in an internal memo:

Since Monday’s disappointing announcement, we have arrived at an agreement with the CFL to provide the following benefits for you:

All eligible players will receive full government wage subsidies (CEWS) from July 2020 up until the end of December. Players currently receiving medical coverage will have that coverage extended to the start of Training Camp in 2021. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility, please contact your member club directly.

Players electing to terminate their SPC’s will have both the medical and government wage subsidies cease from the date of release from their contract. This decision will be final once made. If no decision is communicated to the member club by August 31, your SPC will remain active for its duration.

Players electing to terminate their contract should do so via email to your club, and please copy the CFLPA , no later than August 31st, 2020.
Players currently under a standard player contract will be provided a 7 day option window starting Monday, August 24th, ending on Monday August 31st. The option to terminate the SPC will be that of the players under the following conditions:

A. Players with Contracts expiring in February 2021

Any player, presently under contract with their contract expiring in February 2021, who requests a release from their contract to attempt to secure employment in the NFL or other employment will be granted an immediate release from their CFL SPC on the following conditions:

i. the player must make their election within 7 days of the signing of this MOA
ii. the player after getting his release is not eligible to sign with any other CFL Club until the start of the free agency period in February 2021
iii. the player will not be eligible for CEWS or medical benefit coverage, except for the period of time before making his election.

B. Players with Contracts expiring in February 2022 and beyond

Any player, presently under contract with their contract expiring in February 2022 or beyond, who requests a release from their contract to attempt to secure employment in the NFL or other employment will be granted an immediate release from their CFL SPC on the following conditions:

i. the player must make their election within 7 days of the signing of this MOA
ii. the player after getting his release is not eligible to sign with any other CFL Club during the term of his SPC
iii. should the player wish to return to the CFL after being released by any NFL Club or any other professional football club, he must return to his CFL Club and honour the remaining years of his SPC. Once the player returns to his CFL Club, his medical benefits coverage will be re-instated and CEWS entitlement, if applicable, and all terms of his SPC will apply.

The player must make his election to return to his CFL Club by no later than January 31, 2021 for the 2021 season and by January 31, 2022 for the 2022 season. However, if the player has notified the Club of a willingness to report to his Standard Player Contract, the Club shall be required to restore the player to active status not later than ten (10) days following the receipt of such notification from the player.

If the member club chooses not to reinstate the player during that 10-day period, the player becomes a free agent. The Club, the CFLPA and the player shall sign a binding MOA setting out these terms before the player is released to attempt to secure employment in the NFL, or any other professional football league. The Player will be eligible for CEWS for the period of time before he makes his election.

The Calgary Stampeders granted linebacker Nate Hollley his release on Wednesday and it led to the CFL’s reigning Most Outstanding Rookie signing with the Miami Dolphins on Saturday. He’s one of a number of players from the three-down league who would draw interest from NFL franchises.

The seven days from August 24 until the following Monday is decision time for players.

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