Realizing it may be about to lose players to two upstart American football leagues, the Canadian Football League has wisely reinstated its NFL option-year window.
The CFL used to give its players a window to sign contracts with the better-paying NFL, but closed that window a couple years ago in the belief it would help keep its best players in Canada. Instead, it made American players less willing to join CFL teams because they didn’t want to commit to their Canadian clubs for a minimum of two years.
Wrestling promoter Vince McMahon plans to reincarnate the XFL in 2020. A group of high-profile players, coaches and administrators is planning to debut the Alliance of American Football in 2019.
With those leagues vying for many of the same players — and likely paying better salaries than the CFL — the Canadian teams need to make it more appealing to play three-down football. Re-opening the option-window is one good step.