CFL teams can have up to 10 players on their rosters according to a bylaw called the negotiation list. Currently, there are 9 former XFL players on these lists, along with The Spring League’s Shea Patterson, and FCF’s Damon Sheehy.
Highlighting the list for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is former BattleHawks QB Jordan Ta’amu. Ta’amu most recently spent time in the Detroit Lions’ camp, after being with the Kansas City Cheifs’ scout team in 2020. Jordan went undrafted in 2019 out of Ole Miss, signing with the Houston Texans before playing in St Louis. Ta’amu finished 3rd in passing during the pandemic-shortened 2020 XFL season.
DB Deatrick Nichols made the list for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, after spending much of last season with the New Orleans Saints, and Miami Dolphins. Undrafted in 2018, Nichols led the XFL in INTs while playing for the Houston Roughnecks.
Former Dallas Renegades LB Tegray Scales is on the negotiations ist for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Scales signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers twice, after being undrafted in 2018 and signing with the LA Rams. Most recently Trgray spent time in the Cleveland Browns camp.
DL Anthony Johnson, who started with the LA Wildcats before being traded to the DC Defenders, is with the Calgary Stampeders. As a rookie free agent, Johnson signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2014, before bouncing around NFL camps. He first signed with the Stampeders in 2019, before joining the XFL.
WR DaQuan Hampton made the list for the Edmonton Elks, after playing for the Wildcats in the XFL.
The Spring League’s QB Shae Patterson is on the BC Lions’ list. Patterson signed with the Chiefs after going undrafted in 2019. Patterson had previously being drafted by the Lions in the 2020 draft, but since the season was canceled, HSae played for the Blues in The Spring League.
WR Damon Sheehy joined the Ottawa REDBLACKS, after sneaking into the Cleveland Browns camp in 2020. He was briefly with the New York Guardians before being placed on injured reserve, He also spent time in the Fan Controlled Football league.
Other former XFL players now on negotiation lists are:
- OL Jarrell Owens NYG (CGY)
- OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty HOU (OTT)
- OL Dejon Allen STL (TOR)
- DB Treston Decoud DAL (TOR)
“The negotiation lists serve as a way of acquiring player rights for International players (though non-drafted National players can be placed on neg lists as well). Players who qualify as CFL veterans (have appeared on a game roster, reserve list or injury list for seven games) are not allowed to be placed on a neg list. Veteran CFL players are free agents and able to negotiate with any team when their contract has expired or they have been released and cleared waivers.”CFL Database
All the list does is retain the rights to players just as the draft does, the only difference is the rights retained are for international/American players. Most don’t even know they’ve been placed on them, and since being on the neg list does not mean a player is under contract, there’s nothing to keep a player from signing elsewhere. Many players are still under NCAA eligibility rules, and therefore cannot sign with a CFL team.
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