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

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news channels were full of images of Mi’kmaq fishermen in New Brunswick battling federal fisheries officers over seized lobster traps. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Nisga’a Lisims Government calls on Prime Minister to act in N.S. fisheries dispute

NLG President: “We are shocked by what’s happening in Nova Scotia”

A nurse prepares a flu shot. The public vaccine for the 2020-2021 flu season is now in pharmacies in Terrace. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
Private flu vaccines scarce at Terrace pharmacies

Public flu vaccines still available for those with greatest need

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read