Get Set For Some Great Games in 2024

By Chris Lawton

The CFL has released the winter negotiation lists for each team. To which your first question might just be, “Wait, what’s a negotiation list?”. Fair enough, the CFL is a pretty new follow on this site, and the average UK fan is far more NFL or college football focused usually. In the simplest terms, the CFL by-laws state that teams can claim exclusive rights for up to 45 players by placing them on their “negotiation lists”. Players can be added, removed, or traded from the lists at any time.

What this means in practice, mostly, is that teams often put college players on to these lists and get the first chance to sign them if they head North. Which can work out really well in some cases. For example, Chad Kelly was on the Toronto Argonauts list, went on to be signed by them and became the league MOP this year.

There are other success stories like this too. Often, if a US based player decides to try and make it in the CFL or hope the CFL is a stepping-stone to the NFL they don’t know they are on a negotiation list until their agent reaches out.

The real benefit from a league perspective however is more from a PR standpoint. You can do partial list reveals like this to keep fans interested in fallow news periods. The Grey Cup is gone for this year. While the Draft and preseason are a long way away. Yes, you get Free Agency stories and coaching changes, but this does give fans something else to talk about too.

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Long-term CFL fans aren’t daft, they know a lot of the names they see on these lists will never suit up North of the border. But some will. And there is no harm in imagining what some of these players might have to offer your team.

It is also an interesting window into what some teams’ front offices are thinking and the type of players they think might thrive on the wider fields of the CFL or into their current playing system.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to do some research on the likes of Leonard Jonson (DB) of Duke, Isaiah Bowser (RB) of Central Florida, and Jason Poe (OL) of Mercer, among others, that might have attracted the Argonauts attention.

I am hoping they can find the kind off gem Saskatchewan did when they listed Jamal Morrow.



Chris originally started following the NFL with the ‘first wave’ of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980’s. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL 2017. Chris has a degree in history, postgraduate degree in librarianship and can be found on twitter as @CFLfanUK