CFL teams re­veal 10 play­ers on ex­clu­sive ne­go­ti­a­tion lists

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - DAN RALPH

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 fifthyear 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).

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