CFL teams release selected negotiation list names

CFL teams release selected negotiation list names
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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 CooperQBJacksonville State
Ben DiNucciQBJames Madison
Gage GubrudQBWashington St.
Shea PattersonQBMichigan
Rodney SmithRBMinnesota
Bryce SterkDLMontana State
Khalil TateQBArizona
Kevin ThomsonQBSacramento St.
Nick TianoQBChattanooga
Javin WhiteDBUNLV
Jake BrowningQBWashington
Tyler JonesOLNorth Carolina St.
Tommylee LewisWRNorthern Illinois
Tre McBrideWRWilliam & Mary
Robert McCray IIIDEIndiana
Trace McSorleyQBPenn St.
Justin PhillipsDEOklahoma St.
Marcus SmithDELouisville
Orlando “Duke” ThomasDBTexas
DeAndre ThompkinsWRPenn St.
Tommy ChampionOLMississippi St.
Case CookusQBNorthern Arizona
Dalyn DawkinsRBColorado St.
Pete GuerrieroRBMonmouth
Jerry Louie-McGeeWRMontana
Dante OlsonLBMontana
Bryce PerkinsQBVirginia
Brandon PolkWRJames Madison
Josh RosenQBUCLA
Shane ZylstraWRMinnesota State
Tre’ CrawfordDLAlabama at Birmingham
Anthony GordonQBWashington St.
Sam HartmanQBWake Forest
Anthony JohnsonWRBuffalo
Benny LeMayRBCharlotte
Byron MarshallWROregon
Jalen MortonQBPrairie View A&M
Jordan Ta’amuQBOle Miss
Zac ThomasQBAppalachian State
Daniel WiseDLKansas
Keion AdamsDLWestern Michigan
Marcus ApplefieldOLVirginia
Joe CallahanQBWesley
Jamal Davis IIDLAkron
Jacques PatrickRBFlorida State
Teo ReddingWRBowling Green
Daniel SmithQBVillanova
J.J. TaylorRBArizona
Rogan WellsQBValdosta St.
Justin ZimmerDLFerris St.
Kelly BryantQBMissouri 
Kendall ColemanDLSyracuse
Jayden DanielsQBArizona St.
Hendon HookerQBVirginia Tech
Sam HowellQBNorth Carolina
Mac JonesQBAlabama
Asher O’HaraQBMiddle Tennessee St.
Ty StoreyQBWestern Kentucky
P.J. WalkerQBTemple
Brady WhiteQBMemphis
Jack AbrahamQBSouthern Mississippi
Luke FalkQBWashington St.
DeMarquis GatesLBOle Miss
Nigel HarrisLBSouth Florida
Anthony LanierDLAlabama A&M
Garrett MarinoDLAlabama at Birmingham
J.J. NelsonWRAlabama at Birmingham
Jester WeahWRPittsburgh
Ralph WebbRBVanderbilt
Terrell WilliamsDBHouston
Dejon AllenOLHawaii
Connor CookQBMichigan St.
Treston DecoudDBOregon St.
Jordan FehrLBAppalachian St.
Nick HolleyQB/WRKent St.
Ledarius MackDEBuffalo
Tarvarus McFaddenDBFlorida St.
Nick WheelerDLColgate
Terrance WilliamsWRBaylor
Kendall WrightWRBaylor
Ian BookQBNotre Dame
Breon BordersDBDuke
Charlie BrewerQBBaylor
John DakaDEJames Madison
Sharif FinchDETemple
Blake JacksonWR/QBMary Hardin-Baylor
Wyatt MillerOLCentral Florida
Deatrick NicholsDBSouth Florida
Brock PurdyQBIowa St.
Isaiah WilliamsOLAkron

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.

Perhaps the two names that stand out the most are Edmonton adding former NFL first round selection Josh Rosen, and Ottawa adding XFL star P.J. Walker.

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

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