Fantuz testing out the NFL

Saskatchewan receiver Andy Fantuz is taking another run at the National Football League.

The CFL's Outstanding Canadian from this past season has already scheduled workouts for January with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings.

Fantuz, a native of Chatham, Ont., who played at the University of Western Ontario, led the CFL in receiving yards during the 2010 season.

It was also one of the few times in his career he managed to stay healthy for a season.

Losing Fantuz to the NFL would be a major blow to the Roughriders, both on and off the field. The soon-to-be 27-year-old is one of the team's most popular players, including having his own breakfast cereal, Fantuz Flakes.

Fantuz explored the NFL after the 2009 season but wound up re-signing with Saskatchewan.

Fantuz's biggest challenge making an NFL roster may be his lack of experience playing special teams. NFL receivers who do not play special teams usually have to be starters or primary back-ups.

10-1 there is not a reciever in the CFL right now who could make the NFL and be heard from.

He will be back.

I wish him the best, if you think you have a chance at the NFL you have to go for it for the money alone.

I agree with FYB. Nothing against Fantuz, but he'll definitely be back. Shame, because it's only going to disrupt the Riders. Oh well. Good luck to him.

There won't even be an NFL season next year. This is total non-starter.
Not too mention at 28, team's will be apprehensive in signing him.
Lastly, he's not fast enough to be a wide-out, not big enough to be a tigh-end and the NFL doesn't really use a traditional slotback like in the CFL.

Yup, he's a tweener, which is why he's perfect for the CFL with the extra receiver. But in the NFL, you're basically a fast wideout or a fairly big tight end, not much in between. Or else a guy like Wes Welker with the Pats but he's very fast. I think this is one reason why we see guys here like Fantuz who are more skilled at catchng the ball and routes than some NFL wide outs who have the speed but not a whole package like Fantuz can bring. He'd be confusing on how to be used in the NFL. But who knows, he could be signed as an insert player once in a while to confuse the defense when a team needs 6 or 7 yards on 3rd and two, you put in Fantuz and then with a big tight end, that would be tough to cover.

Agree 100%

I guess he never got the memo…

He said basically what I came to say so I also agree fully

He wont make it. Not enough speed. I dont blame him for trying though. I would too.


No particular order on these three guys amongst those who are the best receivers in the CFL:

Andy Fantuz
Jamel Richardson
S.J. Green

As implied in the article the chips are down on any given receiver from the CFL, or any given free agent otherwise, making it to be a backup in the NFL without having solid special teams skills that emphasize more than just pass-catching.

Great discussion below citing the importance of special teams versatility for the NFL for receivers, but note that this reality also applies to DBs and LBs who are not good enough to start. Good points below by Earl as well.

By contrast note that some NFL starters with amongst the best special teams skills in the league are kept purposely off special teams, unless it is late in the game and the team is way behind in some cases, due to high injury risk. See Devin Hester and Dez Bryant, with the latter having been played for sake of punt returns one time too many last weekend though with little or nothing to be lost for sake of next season either.

Otherwise I don't see one potential NFL starter who is not already on the field right now, and at any given time other than for injury or suspension these guys looming out there are few and far between.

However, for some guys like Fantuz there are situational roles to which they can be adapted such as on 3rd and long, multiple sideline routes to force space and match-up problems, and with his height also for the red zone. The ability to snatch the ball out of the air with good-sized hands is key for these guys irrespective of not having blazing speed. Note also that in many situations of certain field position, route running skills and lateral agility make a bigger difference than just speed.

Note also these guys have to overcome the higher physical nature of the NFL off the line in the bump zone of five yards.

Above in my opinion are the CFL players still deemed young enough who could play in the NFL in certain situational roles such as the above. Note that with the looming NFL lockout for 2011 anyway, it's now or never to give it a go anyway with nothing to lose in the process.

The draft record of NFL teams in at least the last 10 years for the top receivers has a high correlation in this regard as well.

Basically at WR except for a few exceptional cases of first-round picks (Wayne, Roddy White, Nicks, Maclin but also a burner) amongst many a bust, when you look at first-round picks they are almost always at least 6-2 AND 200+ for these reasons. The scouts have a pretty solid track record of success when they pick up these taller and bigger guys in the first round.

Some of the others who manage to make the cut after their rookie season are these same "prototype" guys, but with apparently not as good hands and routes as rookies, and some smaller players with blazing speed and good hands as rookies. Almost all of these in turn are drafted in lower rounds with greater odds against them at even being feature receivers let alone stars and top in the position.

In short with speed a great asset and good hands essential, the NFL game and its scouting put a premium on the combination of height, vertical leap, route running skills, strength, and size at the expense of some speed.

I don't know about the vertical leap or strength of any of aforementioned receivers including Fantuz, but all three have an edge in regards to the above plus they are all still young enough.


  1. this is why you sign guys to contracts longer than 1 year.

  2. The Lockout will kill this.

he should realize this.

The beauty of this for the Rders is that with Fantuz openly stating he's going after the NFL, it gives the Riders room to go after a Canadian in the draft and really, really look at him solidly and then if he pans out, and then say Fantuz tries to come back to the Riders hafway or three quaters of the way through the CFL season ie. Larry Taylor with the Als, the Riders can say go take a hike, we'll call you when we want you.

So it could be a plus for the Riders really when you think of it. More options with a younger guy than Fantuz. And I don't mean to dump on Fantuz, like I say if I think I can make the NFL, you go for it with the dough there. I guess we'll see soon enough if Fantuz has what the NFL is looking for.

Bottom line, his going for the NFL is a plus for the Riders any way you look at it.

The bias against a slowish Canadian receiver will be tough for him to break. Same as the auto bias the CFL have for Canadian QBs in CFL.
It seems that outside of New England Patriots, pedigree, college attended, measurements and draft placement seem to carry the weight.

Yea its too bad that the reality he will not make the NFL, not because he’s not good enough, but because he’s Canadian and he will be seen as one dimensional, and too slow in the eyes of the NFL. Their loss though, its players like Fantuz that gives the CFL its uniqueness because he was born for the CFL and there is no shame in that. There are many great NFL players that cannot cut it in the Canadian game for the same reason.

Give it your best shot Fantuz, But I for one hope you don’t make it, because you are destined for the CFL hall of fame.

I know there is a lot of talk that he will be 28, does not have ST experience, and may be too slow to be more than a ST player in the NFL (as there is no presnap motion), but I would suspect we have seen Andy's last CFL game. How many guys get a tryout in January, essentially going into the playoffs. Perhaps his contract says he enters into his option year with the Riders on Jan 1, 2011, meaning he had to wait until then to roll down south.

10-1 there is not a receiver in the NFL that could crack the CFL.

I have notice one big difference in the quality of players at a certain position between the 2 leagues, and that is receiver.

For example. IN cfl, when throwing only a 3-5 yard pass, our qbs are expected to take something off the pass. If the QB throws hard and it goes through the receivers hands, the fault is put on the qb for throwing short pass too hard. In the NFL, the QBs zip the ball almost too fast to see, and the recievers almost always catch them at 3-5 yards. And if they dont, its their fault, not the QBs. Take off your cfl blinders and dont be afraid to see and admit the truth.

This made me laugh. :lol:

Who says the CFL players can't make the NFL.
You should know it's all about politics, nothing else.