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

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Angelique Houlihan gets her COVID-19 vaccine jab last week at the community-wide clinic. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
Vaccine clinic continues this week

Plenty of booking spots available

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read