Kaepernick, Mayfield and RGIII among players on CFL neg. lists

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By: Dave Naylor, February 20, 2018

Tuesday may not amount to an historic day for the Canadian Football League, but it does mark an interesting change in the way the league has always gone about its business.

CFL teams don’t draft American players. They protect their rights on something called negotiation lists, collections of 45 names per team that allow franchises to secure the CFL rights to players mostly in college football or the National Football League.

The lists are shared among teams but kept secret from the public, which never made a whole lot of sense in a world where leagues are fighting for every bit of attention they can get.

For years, fans and members of the media asked why, pointing out that there would seem to be obvious upsides to releasing negotiation lists: It would stimulate discussion, create anticipation and provide fans with another way to engage with the sport.

All of which fell on deaf ears.

That is until last month, when commissioner Randy Ambrosie put the case for releasing at least some of the names before the league’s presidents and general managers. After a discussion and some debate, they voted to take a small step towards change by having each team release 10 names from its list twice a year ­– once in February and again in December on the eve of NCAA bowl season.

“When you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind,” said Ambrosie. “You might have been able to get away with that 30 years ago… I think this is a recognition by the presidents, governors and GMs that we are in a different era and if we’re going to compete for the hearts and minds of fans, then we’re going to have to be more transparent with the media who tell our stories.”

It simply makes sense that football fans in Canada should have known during last month’s College Football Playoff National Championship game that Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is CFL property of the B.C. Lions or that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa belongs to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

This fall, Saskatchewan Roughriders fans can watch Penn State senior Trace McSorley with special attention, while Toronto Argonauts fans can watch Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield take his shot at the NFL with added interest.

Not all of the players will eventually come to the CFL, but that’s the nature of the negotiation list itself. A good list isn’t one full of the biggest names but one stacked with those who may be a better fit for the Canadian game than the NFL.

Let the fans debate them. Let members of the media have their say. ​

It’s not hard to see that the league would like negotiation lists to be entirely public one day. This week marks a small step into a more modern age for the CFL.

Negotiation list names released Tuesday:

BC Lions

Greg Ducre, DB – Washington
Ryan Finley, QB – NC State
Deondre Francois, QB – Florida State
Jake Fromm, QB – Georgia
Gage Gubrud, QB – Eastern Washington
Lamar Jackson, QB – Louisville
Najee Murray, DB – Kent State
Shea Patterson, QB – Michigan
Brett Rypien, QB – Boise State
Khalil Tate, QB – Arizona

Calgary Stampeders

Josh Allen, OT – Louisiana-Monroe
Keyarris Garrett,  WR – Tulsa
Bennett Jackson, DB – Notre Dame
Anthony Johnson, DT – LSU
Tommylee Lewis,  WR – Northern Illinois
Givens Price, OT – Nebraska
Tyler Rogers, QB – New Mexico State
Brandon Silvers, QB – Troy
Greg Ward Jr., QB/WR – Houston
Tourek Williams, DE – Florida International

Edmonton Eskimos

Shane Buechele, QB – Texas
Case Cookus, QB – Northern Arizona
Will Davis, DB – Utah State
Josh James, OL – Carroll College
Phillip Lindsay, RB – Colorado
Jerry Louie-McGee, WR/RET – Montana
Steven Mitchell Jr., WR – USC
Zack Wagenmann, DE – Montana
Manny Wilkins, QB – Arizona State
Shane Zylstra, WR – Minnesota State

Saskatchewan Roughriders

Josh Boyce, WR – TCU
B.J. Daniels, QB/RB – South Florida
Akeem Davis, LB – Memphis
Curt Maggitt, DE – Tennessee
Trace McSorley, QB – Penn State
Luis Perez, QB – Texas A&M Commerce
Eric Pinkins, DB  – San Diego State
Kevin Snead, WR – Carson-Newman
Daxton Swanson, DB – Sam Houston State
Adam Zaruba, FB – Simon Fraser

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Jayson DiManche, LB- Southern Illinois
Quinton Flowers, QB – South Florida
Alex McGough, QB – Florida International
Felix Menard-Briere, K – Montreal
Shakim Phillips, WR – Boston College
Cody Prewitt, DB – Ole Miss
Marcus Sayles, DB – West Georgia
Tharold Simon, DB – LSU
Chris Streveler, QB – South Dakota
Corey Washington, REC – Newberry College

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Randall Evans, DB – Kansas State
Robert Griffin III, QB -Baylor
DuJuan Harris, RB – Troy
Julian Howsare, DE – Clarion
McKenzie Milton, QB – Central Florida
Kalif Raymond, WR – Holy Cross
Jumal Rolle, DB – Catawba
Nathan Shepherd, DL – Fort Hays State
Tua Tagovailoa, QB – Alabama
Andrew Turzilli, WR – Rutgers

Toronto Argonauts

Houston Bates, LB – Louisiana Tech
Charles James, DB – Charleston Southern
Will Likely, DB – Maryland
Nico Marley, LB – Tulane
Keshawn Martin, WR – Michigan State
Baker Mayfield, QB – Oklahoma
Jonathan Meeks, DB – Clemson
Aaron Murray, QB – Georgia
Denard Robinson, RB/QB – Michigan
Rodney Smith, WR – Florida State

Ottawa Redblacks

Tyler Ferguson, QB – Western Kentucky
Bug Howard, WR – North Carolina
Joey Ivie, DL – Florida
Kaleb Johnson, OL – Rutgers
J.T. Jones, DL – Miami (Ohio)
Greg Little, WR – North Carolina
JoJo Natson, WR – Akron
Ejuan Price, LB – Pittsburgh
Phillip Walker, QB – Temple
Andrew Wylie, OL – Eastern Michigan

Montreal Alouettes

Woody Baron, DL – Virginia Tech
Brian Hill, RB – Wyoming
Colin Kaepernick, QB – Nevada
Devante Kincade, QB – Grambling State
Jonathan Krause, WR – Vanderbilt
Riley McCarron, WR – Iowa
Nick Moody, LB – Florida State
Anthony Philyaw, RB – Howard
Austin Rehkow, K  – Idaho
Rico Richardson, WR – Jackson State

This post originally appeared on TSN. Copyright 2018.

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