These big names really stunk it up and were considered big CFL busts. Read this article to see how bad they really were.

NFL Players Who Became Big CFL Busts


Many promising stars have fizzled out of the NFL and then turned to the CFL for a second chance. In some cases they thrive while in cases like the ones we will discuss in this article they didn’t thrive.

We will look at four once promising NFL prospects or stars and see how they failed in the CFL.

Johnny Manziel: Montreal Alouettes

The 2012 Heisman trophy winner is the first player on the list. Manziel was a star at Texas A&M and won the Heisman Trophy as a Freshman in 2012.

Manziel was a first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns and it all went downhill from there. Manziel only lasted two years in the NFL before being released by the Browns.

Three years after his NFL career went up in smoke, Manziel signed with the Hamilton Tiger Cats but was traded to the Alouettes after only five games. In 11 games with Montreal Manziel threw for five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Just like in Cleveland Manziel was disliked by the Montreal fanbase. After just one season in the CFL Manziel received a lifetime ban from the league, which is a giant reason for being one of the big CFL busts.

Trent Richardson: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Another Cleveland Browns draft pick ends up on this list. In college at Alabama Richardson was a stud and placed third in Heisman voting in 2011. Richardson was picked third overall by the Browns in the 2012 NFL Draft.

After just one season in Cleveland Richardson was traded to the Colts and lasted only two seasons there before being cut, ending his NFL career.

Richardson signed with the Roughriders in 2017 and only played in four games and only scored two touchdowns. Richardson was out of the CFL before he could even get 50 carries.

Mark Gastineau: BC Lions

Unlike the first two players on the list Gastineau was actually good in the NFL. Gastineau played with the New York Jets from 1979-1988 and was a part of the Jets defensive line known as the “New York Sack Exchange. Gastineau recorded 107 sacks while in New York and won the defensive player of the year award in 1982.

After retiring from the NFL in 1988, Gastineau attempted a comeback in the CFL in 1990 with the BC Lions and it did not go very well. Gastineau only managed six tackles and zero sacks, that’s surprising coming from the man who retired in the NFL as the all time sack leader, yet became one of the big CFL busts.


Chad Johnson: Montreal Alouettes


Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson was another NFL star who fizzled out in the CFL. Johnson played for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001-2010 and the New England Patriots in 2011. After retiring from the NFL after the 2011 season Johnson attempted a comeback in the CFL in 2014 at the age of 36.

Johnson signed with the Montreal Alouettes and not much happened from there. After an NFL career that saw him amass over 1,000 yards receiving in seven seasons Johnson failed to play one full season due to injuries, landing him on the list of big CFL busts. In the five games Johnson did play in he only scored one touchdown and only had 150 yards receiving.


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