Is the CFL a proving ground for the NFL where players can gain experience and improve before their NFL debuted, or is it a place where promising futures fade away? If Paxton Lynch‘s career is looked at in a vacuum, the latter seems to be true.
Paxton Lynch was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. He was paid $8.8 million for playing five games, four of them as the starting quarterback over two seasons. Lynch has not seen an NFL field since 2017.
In 2019 and 2020 Lynch would spend time on both the Raiders and the Seahawks training camp teams, but would ultimately not make the final 53-man roster, before heading to Saskatchewan and the CFL.
Lynch would be placed on the 2021 active roster for the Saskatchewan Riders where he would receive full pay while learning the ropes in the CFL. Before the playoffs started the Riders had placed him on the suspension list but did not release the reasons why. He would remain suspended until he was released on Monday.
Lynch was listed as the number four quarterback on the depth chart, and never suited up for a game, however, he collected a $65,000 base salary, plus housing costs, and a bonus of $200 per game of the 2021 season.
Paxton Lynch’s career path is not unique. There have been many promising players that have come from the NFL with dashed success, only to find the end of the road in the CFL. Is this a comment on the CFL or a comment on the players themselves? Only time will tell as the league grows and develops higher-level talents, who we may see grow into NFL superstars.