Mallett Signs With Eagles

David Naylor of the Globe and Mail reports that B.C. Lions running back Martell Mallett has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles:

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I'm a little concerned over the fact BC let him go even though it wasn't his option year.

I understand its common practice to let assistant coaches pursue vacant head coaching positions. Perhaps the same premise is being applied here with an NFL opportunity in the hopes it fosters a good long term relationship in the event Mallet returns. But why sign a player to a two year contract when he's just going to jump ship anyways regardless of whether it is his option or not?

I'd be more concerned if the Eagles were going to disregard his CFL contract and the Lions were trying to save face. Do football contracts hold heavy legal weight? Does the NFL have to respect CFL contracts?

BC Lions suck, who cares!!!

Me too. It's a bad precedent. Other players in the CFL will be looking for the same treatment and could become very disgruntled and disruptive when denied. It would be interesting to know what rules apply in this situation. Not being in his option year, would he not have to be "released" and go through the CFL waivers process to become a free agent? Could another CFL team not then claim him, assume his contract, and refuse to allow him out of it?

You’re right ottawacat. If he wasn’t entering his option year, the only way for him to move directly to the NFL would be for him to be released and clear waivers in the CFL.

If that didn’t happen, it does indeed set a bad precedent.