What does 'option year' mean?

I don't really know what it means when a player is going into their 'option year' of a contract.
Why I ask is because Geroy Simon goes into his option year with the Lions in 09 ... and he'd be a great addition considering the chemistry he had with Printers. That's if we keep Printers I suppose.
Thanks if somebody can explain this for me.

It usually means that the contract is for a fixed period of time, but either the team or the player has an "option" to extend it, on pre-agreed terms, for an additional fixed period of time. If it's the player's option, he alone gets to decide whether he likes the terms of the contract enough to extend it. If it's the team's option, they get the same right.

And during the option year, he can negotiate with NFL clubs. I assume that's the still the case?

I think in the CFL, the standard contract has an 'option year' that allows a player to go to the NFL. So Jesse Lumsden, in his first year here, signed for 1 year plus and option. He signed in August, so he played a few games to the end of the season, then it was his option year, so he had a tryout with the Redskins. When he got cut by the Redskins, he was still Hamilton property.

There may be other option year clauses used in CFL contracts, but that one I believe is standard.


The "NFL window" thing was part of an agreement between the CFL and NFL that has not been renewed.

If you hunt around on cfl.ca, Cohon spoke earlier in the year about the non-renewal of the agreement.

Quoting an article by Duane Forde:


"3. Option Year Players: Under the recently terminated agreement between the CFL and NFL, players entering the option year of their CFL contracts in 2008 had a sixty day window at the end of the '07 season during which they were permitted to sign NFL contracts for the upcoming season. If they make the rosters of their respective NFL clubs, then their CFL contracts would effectively be null and void. However, if that NFL team releases one of these individuals, then he would return to his CFL club under the terms of the option year of his contract."

A significant thing besides the NFL 'Window,' castaway.

At the end of the option year the team
the player has been under contract to

has no further rights to that player.

The player becomes a free agent.

G.M.s often try to avoid this
by trading such players

before or during their option year.

its when you get old enough that living each oncoming yr becomes optional.

No those years are called 'the golden years,' FYB.

As a matter of fact, before I reach them,
I'm trying to arrange a 20 yr. contract extension

Thanks for the explanations guys.
So I guess Geroy is with the Lions for 09 unless they decide to trade him.
Question answered. Thanks

Just what we need, rftt... lol