Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 5)

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The CFL Negotiation List has been a topic of conversation for a number of years as it is one of the most secretive parts of the CFL.

The lists were created as a way for general managers throughout the league to keep salaries low and increase competition among teams.

The rule essentially allows CFL teams to put together a list of 45 players who are not currently in the CFL.

This list is made up of NCAA and NFL players and that is where the science and art of the neg list come into effect.

Teams have 5 spots to use and they have to make sure they are constantly evaluating the worth of a player taking up one of those spots.

On one hand, they could easily put a player like Tom Brady on the negotiation list and have the ability to sign him with exclusive negotiation rights if he were to decide to come to the CFL.

Then again a player like Brady is as close as anyone can get to a 0% chance of actually deciding to play in the CFL.

Putting him on a neg list would essentially be a waste of time because he is not going to play in the CFL and he would be taking up a spot of someone with a little more of a chance to play.

Teams are constantly looking for that potential as these lists are full of some big names in both the NCAA and NFL as teams take chances on the potential of players making the move.

Most of the time these don’t pay off as players remain in the NFL and stick around long enough to make a name and a life.

Every now and then though players do end up making their way to the CFL for any number of reasons.

This year the neg lists have become a major point of contention for some players with the biggest of them being Johnny Manziel.

This off-season Manziel and his agent took issue with the negotiation list rules which take away most of the negotiating power from the players.

When a player enters the CFL under the negotiation rules that team with their rights is the only team allowed to sign them.

It removes bidding wars for big names and players are forced to take what amounts to a rookie CFL contract that totals under $60,000 for two years.

Manziel was not happy about not having the ability to talk with other teams and let these teams bid for his services.

In the end, it was the way the rules were made and Manziel signed with the Ti-Cats who had owned his rights and gave him the basic deal.

Manziel wasn’t the first to take the path to the CFL looking to revive his playing career and he certainly wasn’t the last.

Players like Chad Johnson and Ricky Williams came before Manziel but this year’s off-season signing was one of the biggest in the history of the CFL.football-sidebar

It made headlines and continues to make headlines throughout the USA and for this season it seems to have made some waves south of the border.

After week 5 in the CFL, two more big names decided that they wanted to come up north and play.

The Toronto Argonauts signed Dexter McCluster, a utility burner who was once one of the most dangerous returners in the NFL.

Shortly after that signing new broke that Terrell Owens had told the Eskimos that he wanted to play in the CFL initiated the 10-day rule.

That rule states that once a neg list player tells his team that they want to play in the CFL that team has 10 days to sign them or trade their rights to another team.

Owens, who is set to be elected to the NFL Hall of Fame next month, activated that clock and the Eskimos now have a choice about what to do with the Hall of Famer.

There is one overarching theme surrounding these signings and most other signings from the neg list.

Most of the time they are players who had their time in the NFL but are past their prime or have been forced out of the league.

In Manziel’s case, it was his off-field issues while McCluster just didn’t seem like he had it anymore and Owens was forced out due to a combination of age and a bad reputation.

There is no doubt that Manziel’s signing was all about getting back to the NFL while McCluster and Owens are likely coming to prove something.

They want to prove that despite the NFL moving on, they are still capable of playing and the CFL is their last chance to show that.

Time will tell whether or not any of these players will get what they want but some big names are beginning to see the CFL as a real option.

They could prove to be terrible signings and might fall far short of expectations but for the league, the neg list continues to be one of the most intriguing parts of the game.


Fourth Down

Back in the Game

The BC Lions have struggled through the first month of the season and as a result of those struggles, Wally Buono made a big decision. Jonathan Jennings was a promising QB and was always built as the future of the position in BC but for Buono, the promise wasn’t enough. He announced that Travis Lulay would be back under centre as the former Grey Cup champion had finally recovered from a serious injury last year. With Lulay under centre, the Lions were able to grab their first win of the season in Week 5 beating Winnipeg in a thrilling game that the Lions are hoping are the beginning of a run to the top of the division with Lulay leading the way.

Another QB Down

Quarterbacks have been taking a beating this year as so many of the biggest names have missed time and continue to miss time. It all started with the injury to Matt Nichols in the preseason while Zach Collaros and Ricky Ray were injured shortly after only a few weeks into the season. Another major name has been added to the long list of injuries as Bo Levi Mitchell went down in Week 5 after taking a low hit. Although it doesn’t seem like he will be out for a long time he is listed as questionable for Week 6 keeping one of the best quarterbacks in the league potentially out for at least a week.

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