Calgary Stampeders running back Jerome Messam (33) points to the 31 on his helmet during pre-game warm-ups before CFL football action against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, Ont., on October 1, 2016. The Calgary Stampeders are taking a flyer on linebacker Marcus Smith II. Smith, a former first-round pick of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, is one of 10 players on Calgary’s negotiation list. The nine CFL teams made the revelations Thursday, the first of two they’ll do this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

Calgary Stampeders running back Jerome Messam (33) points to the 31 on his helmet during pre-game warm-ups before CFL football action against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, Ont., on October 1, 2016. The Calgary Stampeders are taking a flyer on linebacker Marcus Smith II. Smith, a former first-round pick of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, is one of 10 players on Calgary’s negotiation list. The nine CFL teams made the revelations Thursday, the first of two they’ll do this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Power

CFL teams reveal 10 players who are on their exclusive negotiation lists

CFL teams can have up to 45 players on their negotiation list which gives them exclusive negotiating rights

The Calgary Stampeders are taking a flyer on linebacker Marcus Smith II.

Smith, a former first-round pick of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, is one of 10 players on Calgary’s negotiation list. The nine CFL teams made the revelations Thursday, the first of two they’ll do this year.

Philadelphia selected the six-foot-three, 258-pound Smith in the first round, No. 26 overall, in the 2014 NFL draft. The former Louisville star spent three seasons with the Eagles, who declined the fifth-year option on Smith’s deal May 1, 2017 before releasing him July 26, 2017.

He signed with the Seattle Seahawks but was released Aug. 17, 2018. Smith, 28, signed with Washington twice before being let go for good Aug. 31, 2019.

Smith, a native of Columbus, Ga., has appeared in 53 career NFL games, registering 6.5 sacks, 38 tackles (25 solo) and two forced fumbles.

CFL teams can have up to 45 players on their negotiation list which gives them exclusive negotiating rights to those players should they decide to play in Canada.

Players can be added, or removed, at a team’s discretion on a first-come, first-serve basis. Clubs own exclusive rights to those players so long as they’re on a negotiation list.

Negotiation-list players often are a crapshoot for CFL teams as many never set foot in Canada. But they can bear fruit as 13 players played games for Canadian squads last year after initially being placed on a club’s negotiation list.

Some include: defensive lineman Woody Baron (Montreal), defensive backs Randall Evans (Ottawa), Jumal Rolle (Hamilton) and Marcus Sayles (Winnipeg), quarterback Chris Streveler (Winnipeg) and receivers Janarion Grant, Lucky Whitehead (both with Winnipeg) and Rodney Smith (Toronto).

Streveler is currently the backup quarterback with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Not surprisingly, quarterbacks dominated Thursday’s reveal with 35 although two more Nick Holley (Toronto) and Blake Jackson (Winnipeg) were listed as quarterback/receivers. Next were defensive linemen (16) and then receivers (13, excluding Holley and Jackson).

Holley is the twin brother of Nate Holley, a linebacker who was the CFL’s top rookie last year with Calgary. Nate Holley is currently on the Miami Dolphins’ practice roster.

Each team had at least two quarterbacks on its list, with Ottawa having nine. The other player on the Redblacks’ negotiation list was American defensive lineman Kendall Coleman, an NFL free agent after being released last month by the Indianapolis Colts.

Smith wasn’t the only former NFL first-round selection on a negotiation list. Josh Rosen, a former UCLA quarterback taken No. 10 overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, is among the 10 players revealed by the Edmonton Eskimos.

And receiver Kendall Wright, a 2012 first-round selection, No. 20 overall, of the Tennessee Titans is on the Toronto Argonauts’ negotiation list.

The six-foot-four, 215-pound Rosen, who’s been released by both Arizona and the Miami Dolphins, is currently on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice roster.

Wright, 30, is currently a free agent. The former Baylor star started 45-of-82 career NFL games with Tennessee and Chicago, registering 339 catches for 3,858 yards with 19 touchdowns. He also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona before being released by the Cardinals on Nov. 17, 2018.

But some of the players on CFL negotiation lists are definite future prospects. Quarterbacks Ben DiNucci (Dallas) and Trace McSorley (Baltimore) are on the B.C. Lions and Calgary Stampeders negotiation lists despite still being with NFL squads. Mac Jones and Sam Howell, currently the starters at Alabama and North Carolina, respectively, are on Ottawa’s negotiation list while Ian Book, Notre Dame’s No. 1 quarterback, and Wake Forest starter Sam Hartman are on Winnipeg’s and Hamilton’s negotiation lists.

Minnesota State receiver Shane Zylstra remains on Edmonton’s negotiation list. Zylstra’s older brother, Brandon, had 100 catches for 1,687 yards and five TDs with the Eskimos in 2017 and is currently with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

For years, Hamilton had former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel on its negotiation list. The former Texas A&M star eventually joined the Ticats in 2018 before being dealt to the Montreal Alouettes that season.

Montreal released Manziel after the ‘18 campaign on orders from the league for reportedly contravening terms of his CFL contract. He was also barred from joining any another franchise in Canada.

Manziel ended up joining the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football before that league suspended operations in April, 2019.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

(Corrado Colombo photo)
Corrado Colombo, with his wife, Lucy. Colombo is from Italy, but met Kitimat born-and-raised Lucy on one of his annual fishing trips to Kitimat in the early 2000s.
In Our Valley: Corrado Colombo

Corrado Colombo never expected that an annual fishing trip to Kitimat would change his life

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

CityWest internet and other services are down in Kitimat as of Wednesday (Nov. 25) evening. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Services down for CityWest users in Kitimat

Services were put out due to a landslide cutting a fibre line

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

More than 60 cm of snow has fallen at Ulkatcho First Nation near Anahim Lake in the Chilcotin since a snowfall warning went into effect Thursday, Nov. 26. (Graham West photo)
VIDEO: More than 60 cm of snowfall in Chilcotin since Thursday, Nov. 26

Graham West of Ulkatcho First Nation captures the scene on video

Most Read