CFL Negotiation List

Hey forum,

I was trying to find information on CFL's Negotiation list. Does anyone know anything about it? Like how long are they allowed to hold a player on the list? Can they get off the list? Any information would be appreciated.


I'm not sure, but I don't think there's a limit unless the player has a legitimate shot at being signed by someone. Then the team that has him listed has to sign him within a certain (short, like a week) time frame or release him from the list (or trade his rights to the team that wants to sign him).

Last I recall (back in MY day...) you could list 30 players. Not sure if that's increased or not.

Many people think it's for import players only, and that's not accurate. It's just that teams tend to sign just imports to it.

Neg list is a lot bigger then 30t and there is no time limit.

Bigzzzz, tell the boy to sign a one + one or contact the GM and ask nicely to be released. This is an 8 team league where everyone knows each other.

Do you know what the player limit is then? Because there apparently is one.

"A Club may claim exclusive negotiation rights to a specified number of players on its Negotiation List, and may make changes daily."

Never mind. It's 35.

"Trying to provide online fans with extra information about his CFL team, general manager Eric Tillman recently posted the Saskatchewan Roughriders' confidential 35-player negotiation list on"

Think you are getting this mixed up with the practice roster rules. As far as I know, it is up to the holders of the rights to release a player from the neg list.

I still do not understand why the league was upset with Tillman releasing his own Neg list. It is not like he released the neg list info of other teams.

The neg lists of all teams are registered with the league and all teams can see who other teams have on the list.

Perhaps. Or it may apply to both. I'm trying to recall where I heard that.

I could see how such a rule would exist because it wouldn't be right to restrict a player's ability to make a living as he wishes because someone wrote his name down on a list. It's not as though the player is under contract. He may not even have ever known that the team that listed him did it.

leeing, the league wasn't upset at Tillman. Tillman got made at the press for releasing the list to the public.

Typically, negotiation lists are made up of unsigned drafted players and the occasional free agent (undrafted). A player may be drafted by a CFL team but try and take his chances in the NFL. So the team will place him on the list.

In terms of NFL Free Agents (i.e. players who were never drafted by the CFL), I am not sure how they are selected and added to the negotiation list. If it is a first come first serve basis or what.

That is what i’m trying to understand. How can a team put a player on their negotiation list without signing any legalities. He’s not binded by any law to only sign to that team, but his options to tryout for another team is forbidden? That limits his ability to make a living trying out for more than 1 team.

Sorry Mike, while you are right that Tillman was upset at the media, the league did tell him that he was not allowed to release the list.

Edit: Humm, I might have to take this back as despite my searches on the Riderville forum, I can not find the specific quote from Tillman where I thought he said that the league did not the list posted, the closest I can come at this time is a comment that 'some in the league do not want these list posted'.

Leeing it is the first time I have heard the league say anything about publishing the negotiation list information. Do you have something that shows the league was upset. In fact, often you will hear a team announce they have added player x or player y to their list after he was released from a team in NFL.

He can sign with any team, except another CFL team. Heck when you are drafted, you are restricted to whom you can sign with, this is just a variation on this system.

I am assuming you are a player currently on a neg. list. How you going to be in two places at once anyways? All the spring training camps are simultaneous with one another. If you get cut from Rider camp, day one I suppose you could get to another team in time to try out but this isn't a walk on league for Americans. This is the CanadianFL and there are long standing rules that have worked within Canada's labor laws for years and years. Ask your GM! Coming here for that kind of info will only get you caught up in the confusion.


That's why I'm fairly convinced that the player has an "out" of some kind.

Even if he doesn't, being that the player is not under contract, if he says to the team "Forget it, I'll never sign with you" then there's no point in retaining him there. If he has a legitimate opportunity elsewhere I believe teams tend to be pretty cooperative is trading the guy's rights or simply letting him go.

And why not? Otherwise, he's just taking up a spot on the list that you could be using for someone who might be VERY willing to sign you when he becomes available.

It IS considered confidential for some reason, but I've seen Ottawa's posted in the Citizen and have never heard of any punishment or anger as a result.

What would be the point of a neg list then? The only way a player could know they had a legitimate chance at another option would be if another team broke the rules and talked to the player!

The whole purpose of a neg list is to tie up a players rights so that another team can not negotiate with them. Giving a player an out would defeat this purpose. As you point out neg list players are traded from time to time, so they do have value to the organization.

But yes a player could say to the team that held their rights that they want off. The team would then have to decide if tying up a neg list spot for a player that does not want to play with them was worth it as a possible trade bait or just to keep them away from someone else.

As I recall the discussion that happened around this issue at the time, the rational behind not disclosing the neg list is that this knowledge could have an impact around fa negotiations.

As an example, if you were an agent and knew that your guy was the only fullback on the neg list of a team that suddenly found themselves with a need for a FB, it could give you an edge.

Teams usually like to keep them quite from each other, that is where the confidentiality comes in.

For example: if the riders drafted a player high two years ago and he has had try outs in the NFL. They may want to keep him on the list. If they drop him off the list he is able to sign with any team.

There is nothing in this league from stopping non draft players (American or Canadian) from attempting to do a walk in the rules. As far as I know. The only thing that would stop him is the number of players in camp or on the roster or development squads.

BC and I believe other teams offer open try out days for non drafted players.

There also isn't anything in the league rules that says a team must go to the negotation list first so the fullback example doesn't hold water.

Actually teams are required to submit their neg list players and the league in turn send out that info to all other teams!

Of cource any Free Agent that is not on a neg list can talk to any team they want, but if you are on the neg list, you can only negotiate with that team, otherwise what the heck is the point of the negotiation list!

The fullback example was the arguement that was given to me by a senior team staffer as to why SOME teams do not want the list made public. Every GM knows who is on each teams neg list, but players agents only know if they (or their clients) are on the list.

I also never said they had to go to the neg list first, but if you are an agent I you know that the team you are talking to has no other FB on the list and that all the other really good FB prospects are on other teams lists, it gives you an advantage!

But what happens if the player is not happy with the offer they are proposing to them? They believe they could be more valuable somewhere else, what do they do from there?