The Canadian Football League put to rest any thoughts of suspended RB Ray Rice continuing his professional football career north of the border.
Rice, who would be eligible to play in the CFL despite his NFL suspension because he currently does not have a contract, had that door closed by CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.
Cohon, in the statement, simply says that the CFL will choose to honour the NFL’s indefinite suspension. Dan Ralph of Canadian Press says that teams were informed by the league that they would not be permitted to sign Rice or add him to their negotiation list while he’s suspended by the NFL.
This is a smart move by the CFL. No doubt, some team would have been tempted to add an NFL caliber back such as Rice despite the PR nightmare it would have caused. Especially given the small window he would probably have in the league. Now all teams are at the same place.
The league has been seen as a respite for NFL bad boys. Whenever a player is suspended by the NFL, the CFL becomes an option. Whether it was Josh Gordon or more recently Rice, the league has that reputation. Gordon, despite his suspension, is also not eligible for the CFL because he is still under contract in Cleveland.
Cohon, who is leaving the league at the end of his contract has done a lot of good and overseen some great progress for the league. This was a no-doubt decision to keep the league in a positive light when it comes to their public image – which, is so important to them compared to the much bigger NFL.