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

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

The newly built Parkland Regional Library Services. (Photo Submitted)
Parkland Regional Library system moves into new offices in Lacombe

“Someone with a Parkland Library card can borrow from 350 libraries in Alberta,” Ron Sheppard

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Mountain Cree Traditional Band’s headquarters broken into five times

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Most Read