Sportsnet trying to hijack the CFL Draft again??

Blue Bombers negotiating with Ekakitie; plan to take him No. 1 in draft

Arash Madani
May 5, 2017, 1:19 PM

[i]The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have started contract negotiations with University of Iowa defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie and, barring a trade, will take the 24-year-old with the No. 1 overall pick in Sunday’s CFL draft.

Sources told Sportsnet that Winnipeg GM Kyle Walters has already begun talks with Ray Haija, Ekakitie’s agent, on an entry-level deal to avoid any issues after the draft. A year ago, the league’s top draft pick, offensive lineman Josiah St. John, sat out all of training camp and the opening game of the season, because of a contract dispute with Saskatchewan.

Ekakitie is originally from Brampton, Ont., and was a major part of the Iowa front the past two seasons and played in all 13 games last year as the Hawkeyes reached the Outback Bowl. He had four tackles – two for loss – in an upset win over then No. 3 Michigan in November, a decision that knocked the Wolverines out of the college football playoff.

Listed at six-foot-three and 290 pounds, Ekakitie played all four years of his NCAA eligibility with the Hawkeyes after redshirting in 2012.

Having Ekakitie in the Bombers’ defensive line rotation would provide more Canadian depth to a group that is heavy with national players. Jamaal Westerman remains the most impactful, coming off of an eight-sack season. Six-year vet Jake Thomas, out of Acadia, played 16 games last season, so too did Trent Corney, who Winnipeg drafted in 2016.

The Blue Bombers hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft via trade from Toronto, after dealing quarterback Drew Willy to the Argonauts last September. Winnipeg also has the No. 6 selection in Sunday’s draft.[/i]

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Legit news...

And Sportsnet 960 with a CFL show. Who would of thought that?

Paulo Senra Retweeted
Rob Kerr?Verified account @FAN960RKerr 4h4 hours ago

Beginning Monday June 12 the BO SHOW 4-5pm on @Sportsnet960 with @BoLeviMitchell. Every Monday #Football and more with one of the best!

......Not according to Ekakitie's agent... Total denial and says nothing has been discussed....I think Madani might be wrong...but has he ever been wrong before .... In any event I don't see us drafting this guy at one....although I know I've been wrong before :lol:

Great to see Sportsnet doing some digging and covering the CFL.
It's strange that posters are complaining about the lack of CFL coverage by media other than TSN and then when Sportsnet covers the CFL it's called "hijacking" :?

If the Bombers are picking this kid number 1 then why all the secrecy etc up until draft day?
Can't they just call his agent and say we are picking him number one and let's start negotiations.

Yup. Damned if you do damned if you don't.
Sportsnet haters want it both ways it appears.

I get it. Sportsnet has been downright hostile and "dirty" when it comes to the CFL. So it will take a while for most CFL fans to trust they have changed. But I hope they are.

The competition at TSN adds their 2 bits worth:

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are in negotiations to make Iowa defensive tackle Faith Ekakitie the first overall pick in Sunday’s CFL Draft, TSN has confirmed.

Ekakitie, a 24-year-old from Brampton, Ont., is ranked as the fifth-best prospect for the 2017 draft and is considered among the very best who is not otherwise getting attention from the NFL.

The Bombers had no comment on their potential selection, although general manger Kyle Walters told TSN 1290 Radio in Winnipeg on Friday that he would not draft a player first overall without first having contract terms in place.

“When you’re sitting at No. 1, there’s no games to be played,? Walters told Hustler and Lawless on TSN 1290. “When you call that No. 1 pick you want to make sure that the player and the agent are comfortable with the pay structure you’re looking at and more importantly that they are excited about being in the CFL and start playing and want to be in training camp.?

A year ago, the Saskatchewan Roughriders drafted Oklahoma offensive lineman Josiah St. John first overall but were not able to sign him to a contract until after the regular season was underway.

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I guess one sort of translation is that all players of decent pro talent want to keep the NFL dream alive. What the smart ones do, and their agents, is look at the CFL at "the most appropriate time" for the players career that both maxmimizes their timely NFL chances but also maximizes their CFL chances with the NFL chances being the most crucial.

It's a tricky game for players and their agents. Sit around on some practice NFL roster where no one knows you or go to the CFL, a bit less money but television game exposure with. Cameron Wake is one example I can think of that really hit the nail on the head.

One interesting thing is that all players who have won a Grey Cup, and maybe some that haven't and played here, and eventually do make it "big time" in the NFL, speak so highly of the CFL, much moreso than many Canadian football "fans" who simply follow the NFL out of "big timeness" but won't give the CFL the time of day. Sort of weird really.

Anyways, Sportsnet doesn't know how to deal with the CFL I would say. Maybe they should give my cousin @JulieAdam (Twitter) at Rogers some more exposure to the CFL, she is one smart cookie and good for her on Rogers seeing that she is exactly that!

Julie, your rock girl regardless if you can "get" the CFL or not . :wink:

We also have to remember that at one point Sportsnet tried really hard to work with the CFL and even broadcast games for at least a season might have been two and then when it came time to negotiate a new deal the CFL wasn't the most professional...

The story can't be told without that part.

What does that mean, the CFL wasn’t the “most professional”?.. Hey, it’s pretty simple, if you don’t trust someone based on your communications with them, why be “professional” with them. It’s pretty easy to know what “negotiating in real faith” means :? Rogers has a history of “playing games” with the CFL, we all know that at least those of us that know what the truth is. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out Rogers wanted the Argos to go into oblivion. Even a dunce would know that.

I wouldn't have any objection (nor should the majority of CFL fans) to Sportsnet being granted (for money) approx. 1 game per week (Game of the Week on Sportsnet).

Could be good for entire league and fanbase. Different network, different outlook and certainly different broadcast crews and techniques.

Less Rod Black would certainly be a bonus in any event. :cowboy:

Perhaps more money for the CFL - but I fear most of the surplus would be eaten up by the Whitey Cabal which runs the league - the biggest earners are Commisioner, Team Presidents, Team GM, head coaches, a few highly paid assistants like Plop LaPolice and scattered few CFL & team executives - so by that token maybe its a dumb idea as the money would flow to people vs. teams. The greediest people!

Lyle, the CFL can't afford to have a minimum salary for all players of some $200,000 to show it's sort of "major league". You do know that don't you? So what if they distribute more funds towards players to make the minimum salary, whatever that is, $10,000 more a year, it's still a joke to many that call the CFL truly minor.

It's hard to sell the CFL as "major" in a city like Toronto or Vancouver when a really good player has to live in a basement bachelor apartment on the wrong side of town to make it work for them, especially those coming from the States that often will put up with that to try and get the "NFL dream". Hey I don't care, I watch the CFL because I love the competition on the field for our national championship football trophy the Grey Cup, but just saying.

If you look at the number and quality of the players available to any league in Canada (Draft eligible players I'm talking about) from Major Junior A ranks, NCAA, U Sports where all the leagues are filled from the NHL comes out on the bottom and the CFL comes out on top. Also of note is that the CFL is 2nd in N.A. in players available to it, thanks to the NCAA. Search NCAA players to turn pro and you will see what I mean. Should also understand that you could add up all the other sports in the NCAA and it wouldn't total the 74000 playing football. Now the hard part.

People shouldn't call CFL minor because it is Canadian and can't get the US television money the other leagues enjoy. I would NEVER equate player salaries with ability. 16500 graduates in NCAA football per year and it will not be computers that select 256 players in the NFL, its people and they get it wrong as much as they get it right.

We could never convince a statistician that there isn't a blending of skills between the 2 leagues unless it is truly selected by a machine. They try to put some science to the selection process, but they can't measure desire and they can't measure football IQ and they can't look at 74000 playing and decide which one is absolutely better. They don't need to as there are so many of them. The CFL gets their share of quality players.

Agree with all of your points ArgoFan, I'm just talking about general perception or "perception" of the CFL among many Canadians that it is a "minor" or "regional" type league. That's all.

This is gonna sound quite counter-intuitive but the reason I prefer CFL football over NFL is

#1 - I grew up CFL, in an era (1960s) where we were lucky to get one Ray Scott NFL game a week - usually Bears or Packers

#2 - CFL is usually more exciting than NFL because of wider playing field and preponderance of passing in the 3 down game.

#3 - Mistakes happen more often in the CFL game; mainly because of the odd unprepared or under-powered athlete that gets run over or terrified in combat. Not many, but enough to create excitement via lack of execution and/or focus. NFL players are rehearsed night 'n day where CFL teams get a short training camp every season, then 1 hour or 90 minute practices during the season - usually aborted due to injuries, bad weather, etc.

#4 - 4 down NFL game has a lot of pitch 'n putt plays, ie 2.5 to 3.5 yard runs, 4 yard passes, 8 yard outs. CFL game is more free-flowing

Despite the above CFL is still seen as the inferior minor league operation. CFL coaching has some real bugeroos in tow, cling-ons if you will plus the officiating is penny dreadful w/ far too many poorly trained and unprepared mopes donning zebra outfits.

Right now nothing is better than watching the tremendously coached and brilliantly rehearsed New England Patriots play ball - but I'll take my CFL right after Bellichek & Brady.

Bellichek and Brady in the CFL with the 3 downs and wider field and some decent receivers, that would be very interesting to see.

I've been curious for several years/decades what it would be like to see the NFL players play by CFL rules on a CFL field...

Having Sportsnet get one game a week might be good or it might be bad. They may use it to belittle or put down the CFL game live on air. Who knows what their broadcaster's might say or do? Remember this is Rogers we are talking about and their total disrespect for the CFL.

I doubt the network would disrespect the league on air. It would only hurt the ratings for their upcoming games. They'd probably go the other route and become huge cheerleaders. Kind of like... "Stay tuned now for the upcoming documentary ...The secret lives of Blue Jay batboys." or "Here's last night's Jay game. We're going to replay it 36 times in a row"