For the first time this year the CFL clubs have revealed 10 players each on their negotiation lists. And that means we’ve got something on field related to talk about. Instead of just looking at the cancelled season and wondering what might have been.
Negotiation Lists – What are they anyway?
Using negotiation lists allows teams to acquire the rights for international players. Each CFL team has its own negotiation list, allowing the team to have exclusive rights to negotiate a contract with the players on their list. This does not preclude players from signing with another league. Only a fully fledged signed contract could do that.
Players are placed on team negotiation lists on a first come, first served basis. Lists can often change and additions or removals are often not known by anyone outside of the team making the list, and the league who they report it to.
However, twice a year the teams reveal a list of ten names on their list. The league has been doing this for a while now. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing.
The truth is that a lot of the players listed won’t ever suit up in the CFL. A lot of them won’t even have been aware they were on the list. But, it creates chatter. It gets fans talking. Which is good at the best of times. But when your entire season is cancelled, then getting people talking has to be a good thing. And getting them talking about football instead of off the field issues is an even better thing right now.
The Negotiation List Players
So who did each team put on their list? Let’s take a look.
|Zerrick Cooper||QB||Jacksonville State|
|Ben DiNucci||QB||James Madison|
|Gage Gubrud||QB||Washington St.|
|Bryce Sterk||DL||Montana State|
|Kevin Thomson||QB||Sacramento St.|
|Tyler Jones||OL||North Carolina St.|
|Tommylee Lewis||WR||Northern Illinois|
|Tre McBride||WR||William & Mary|
|Robert McCray III||DE||Indiana|
|Trace McSorley||QB||Penn St.|
|Justin Phillips||DE||Oklahoma St.|
|Orlando “Duke” Thomas||DB||Texas|
|DeAndre Thompkins||WR||Penn St.|
|EDMONTON FOOTBALL TEAM|
|Tommy Champion||OL||Mississippi St.|
|Case Cookus||QB||Northern Arizona|
|Dalyn Dawkins||RB||Colorado St.|
|Brandon Polk||WR||James Madison|
|Shane Zylstra||WR||Minnesota State|
|Tre’ Crawford||DL||Alabama at Birmingham|
|Anthony Gordon||QB||Washington St.|
|Sam Hartman||QB||Wake Forest|
|Jalen Morton||QB||Prairie View A&M|
|Jordan Ta’amu||QB||Ole Miss|
|Zac Thomas||QB||Appalachian State|
|Keion Adams||DL||Western Michigan|
|Jamal Davis II||DL||Akron|
|Jacques Patrick||RB||Florida State|
|Teo Redding||WR||Bowling Green|
|Rogan Wells||QB||Valdosta St.|
|Justin Zimmer||DL||Ferris St.|
|Jayden Daniels||QB||Arizona St.|
|Hendon Hooker||QB||Virginia Tech|
|Sam Howell||QB||North Carolina|
|Asher O’Hara||QB||Middle Tennessee St.|
|Ty Storey||QB||Western Kentucky|
|Jack Abraham||QB||Southern Mississippi|
|Luke Falk||QB||Washington St.|
|DeMarquis Gates||LB||Ole Miss|
|Nigel Harris||LB||South Florida|
|Anthony Lanier||DL||Alabama A&M|
|Garrett Marino||DL||Alabama at Birmingham|
|J.J. Nelson||WR||Alabama at Birmingham|
|Connor Cook||QB||Michigan St.|
|Treston Decoud||DB||Oregon St.|
|Jordan Fehr||LB||Appalachian St.|
|Nick Holley||QB/WR||Kent St.|
|Tarvarus McFadden||DB||Florida St.|
|WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS|
|Ian Book||QB||Notre Dame|
|John Daka||DE||James Madison|
|Blake Jackson||WR/QB||Mary Hardin-Baylor|
|Wyatt Miller||OL||Central Florida|
|Deatrick Nichols||DB||South Florida|
|Brock Purdy||QB||Iowa St.|
Emphasis on the QB
Of the players teams have chosen to reveal there are some interesting different areas of emphasis. The Argos for example have released a list that features five defensive players. For Winnipeg it’s a real mix from both sides of the ball.
Echoing what we said above, for some teams this has been a great opportunity. An opportunity to talk football and on the field things – and they already have articles on their sites.
One position really dominates. Well over a third of the 90 players listed are QB’s. Two teams released particularly pivot heavy lists. With 7 on the BC Lions list, and 9 on the RedBlacks list.
Rosen stands out as the unlikeliest name on the list. Edmonton general manager Brock Sunderland is quoted as saying “With his last year at UCLA, and again, where he went in the draft, did I ever envision putting a guy like that on the neg list? No. Circumstances happened in Arizona, where they draft Kyler Murray (first overall in 2019), so he goes to Miami, and then Miami drafts Tua Tagovailoa (fifth overall in 2020). All of a sudden, he’s out there and he doesn’t get claimed, so I just put him on because you just never know. He’s on a practice squad and things are different in the NFL this year because of COVID.”
Nobody expects to see Rosen in the CFL. But it’s the job of a GM to account for even the tiniest of remote chances. Now it’s fun to speculate though. And putting some fun into CFL football right now makes these negotiations list announcements a real winner.
Banner image: Houston Roughnecks PJ Walker has signed with the Carolina Panthers. But he’s on the RedBlacks radar. Image from click2houston.com