Naylor: WR Williams may not report to Tiger-Cats camp

Dave Naylor

5/31/2013 8:11:46 PM

Chris Williams established himself as one of the most exciting players in the CFL last season, scoring 17 touchdowns with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats - six of them on returns - en route to becoming the CFL's Most Outstanding Special Teams player.
However, two weeks ago, Williams' representative went to arbitration to try and have him released from his CFL contract, presumably so he can take his shot at the NFL this summer.
It is believed the basis of Williams' complaint is that he was not made fully aware of the conditions pertaining to his contract, which he signed before the 2011 season. And that because an unregistered agent negotiated that deal, the final year of Williams' contract should be ruled invalid.
The arbitrator has not yet ruled on the matter but the buzz around the CFL is that Williams is unlikely to report to Hamilton, even if he loses his case, and that he may very well sit out the season and pursue the NFL in January.
That's not an ideal situation for him or the CFL, but at this stage it may be unavoidable. It will certainly provide another layer of debate over whether the CFL needs to reinstate its former policy of allowing players to audition with NFL teams during the off-season before heading into the final years of their contacts.