Negotiating List Controversy

Saskatchewan Roughriders General Manager Eric Tillman
recently posted his team's 35-player negotiation list
for's readers. [paid subscribers]

Rob Vanstone, sports writer, published
the list in the the Regina Leader Post

and here he reports of receiving e-mails
from fans who were very upset he did that.

click here


I am not a fan of making the names of players
who are on a team's negotiating lists public,

It is better to keep obscure players obscure.

False hopes about signing noteworthy players.

Some names are only on the list for publicity.

Here is the Wed 04 Apr 2007 article by Darrell Davis
of The Leader-Post (Regina) in which Eric Tillman posted
The Roughriders Negotiation List


"Trying to provide online fans with
extra information about his CFL team,

general manager Eric Tillman recently posted
Saskatchewan's confidential 35-player
negotiation list on

"(Revealing players on a negotiation list) has been done
at the discretion of the teams,'' said Tillman.

"Each club handles it differently.

"I did put our list on
as a perk for our subscribers.

But out of respect for the people
in our league, I won't do that anymore.''

After a paid subscriber sent the list
to the Leader-Post, Tillman was contacted

during a scouting trip through the southern U.S.
and asked if he would rate some of the top prospects.

With the possibility that he could be
reprimanded by the CFL, Tillman requested

that for the sake of accuracy and diplomacy,
one player be removed from the list

because he had been released
and signed by another CFL team.

He also agreed to discuss
the potential of some players
named by the Leader-Post.

Each CFL team has exclusive negotiating
rights to the players on their list.

Most of the players are future prospects,
some coming from U.S. colleges

and others who have spent time with pro teams
in NFL Europe, Arena league and NFL teams.

The majority of the players are imports,

although there are sometimes
unsigned, undrafted, non-imports
who appear on neg lists.

The eight teams regularly make changes
to their negotiation lists,

such as when a player is signed
or looks like he won't be playing in the CFL.

"Our list is structured toward
the future, Tillman said.

"The vast majority of this year's work is done,
so the rest of the list is looking ahead
to midway through 2007 or 2008.

"I wouldn't expect any more than four
or five of the players on this list
to be at training camp.

Tillman was asked specifically
about these players:

Quarterback D.J. Shockley (Georgia) -- "He's a seed
(former general manager) Roy Shivers planted on our list
a long time ago.

He's with the (NFL's Atlanta) Falcons
and could play in the NFL, or he could be
in the CFL in three or four years.

Because of the huge demand for quarterbacks
throughout football, it requires a lot
of patience to see if he works out.

Running back Jamal Robertson (Ohio Northern) -- "Played in Calgary and has
been with four NFL teams.

When he first came up here there was a buzz
among the coaching fraternity that he was
really going to be a player.

Linebacker Sam Olajubutu (Arkansas) -- "A character guy
who has great instincts. He's a tackling machine.
He can cover running backs and make plays all over the field.
At 5-(foot)-8, 230 (pounds) he's undersized for the NFL,
but he plays like (long-time NFL linebacker) Sam MIlls.
In the NFL they say no because of a guy's size; that's what happened to Doug Flutie.''

Punter Thomas Olmstead (Troy State) -- "We're looking
at him at this point, but we might not be later.

We're looking at the possibility of
having an American kicker and he has
tremendous kickoffs.

(Veteran) Luca Congi will be our kicker,
but we have looked at multiple scenarios
that could include an American.

With the acquisition of Jamie Boreham
from Hamilton, we may have resolved that,
but we would still like three kickers at camp.

Defensive end Brian Smith (Missouri) -- "In the NFL
he would be converted to linebacker,
which is one of his two challenges.

The other is, he's coming off a broken hip.
But he can flat-out rush the passer.

Defensive back Dre Dokes (Northern Iowa) --

"A highly productive player who, because he's undersized,
also doesn't fit the NFL's size parameters.

Wide receiver/kick returner Roosevelt Kiser (Florida A&M) --
"My guess is he might be a late-round NFL draft pick,
but he's like (fellow neg-list receivers) Vincent Marshall,
Gerran Walker and Carl Berman --

because they're very dangerous
with a ball in their hands
they might end up with NFL teams.''


Saskatchewan Roughriders' negotiation list

(Posted online by GM Eric Tillman
in mid-March, with his comments)

Mike Alston-LB Toledo...just graduated

Thomas Barnett-T Kansas State...
experience in NFL and NFL Europe

Dalton Bell-QB West Texas...just graduated

Carl Berman-WR Indiana State...just graduated

McKinley Boykin-DT Ole Miss...playing in NFL Europe

Larry Brackins-WR Pearl River JC...playing in Arena

Omarr Conner-QB Mississippi State...just graduated

Chase Daniel-QB Missouri...outstanding upcoming junior

Woody Dantzler-QB/RB Clemson...playing in Arena

Dre Dokes-DB Northern Iowa...just graduated

Jimmy Farris-WR Montana...significant NFL experience

Martin Hankins-QB Memphis...upcoming senior

Bobby Harris-T Ole Miss...playing in NFL Europe

Howard Hodges-DE Iowa...playing in Arena

Robert Hubbard-RB Nevada...just graduated

Justin Jenkins-WR Mississippi State...
...playing in NFL Europe

Roosevelt Kiser-WR/KR Florida A&M...just graduated

Vincent Marshall-WR Houston...just graduated

Adrian McPherson-QB Florida A&M...playing in Arena

Sam Olajubutu-LB Arkansas...just graduated

Thomas Olmstead-P Troy...NFL experience

James Patrick-CB Stillman...just released
from Patriots PR

Dominic Payne-DE Western State...playing in Arena

Jerrell Pippens-DB Nebraska...currently with Redskins

Jamal Robertson-RB Ohio Northern...currently
with Falcons

Ryne Robinson-WR Miami,Ohio...just graduated

Marcus Rucker-LB Rice...just graduated

DJ Shockley-QB Georgia...currently with Falcons

Brian Smith-DE Missouri...just graduated

Paul Thompson-QB Oklahoma...just graduated

Zach Ville-DT/DE Missouri...playing in NFL Europe

Gerran Walker-WR/KR Lehigh...playing in NFL Europe

Renauld Williams-LB Hofstra...just released
from 49ers

Stephen Williams-DT NW Missouri State...currently with Panthers

(Note: One player was deleted from the posted list because
he was released and subsequently signed by another CFL team.)

Well, glancing at that list, I didn't see any players listed as "currently serving time for ..." or "out on bail facing charges of ...", so that blows a big credibility hole in one recent post. :wink:

Why would you show your hand??? It just puts even more pressure on you from the fans in the long run. Seems like a desperate move by a team that doesnt have much in terms of signing this year.

I agree with whoknows. The Riders are turning into a very unadmirable combination of the Argos and Bombers: a team that is willing to sign "attitudes" (Yeast, Hill brothers) and a team that is willing to sign other teams' unwanted scraps (Boreham, Thyron Anderson, Feugill, Flick, Smith, Justin).

I predict Saskatchewan will get steamrolled in 2007. Austin's passing oriented offence will be reminiscent of Dunnigan's horrible offence in Calgary a few years back.

It’s good to hear this. Hopefully the Esks will assist in this steamrolling. :thup: Go 'cats for the East!