The Negotiation List?

One of the things that have plagued the Ti-Cats over the past few seasons is the lack of import talent. This leads me to wonder just how the Negotiation List works.

You often hear about this secret list of import players that indicates who teams can or cannot sign. Occassionally you hear of teams trading for negotiation list player rights.

My question is, how does this list get created? Is there some secret draft that takes place, or is it just a free-for-all that teams can add to whenever they want, or after players reach a certain age? How are these list officially kept?

I've often wondered if part of the reason the Ti-Cats have taken a while to start making their way out of the basement (and I think they will make the first step next year) is because the lack of scouting and recruiting from the previous era had resulted in a weak list of players being on this list.

We all want OB and previously MD to upgrade the talent, but I wonder if both of these guys may potentially not have had much to work with (I don't know for sure as the list is a secret).

Please, someone clear up the mystery.


I am sure some other members of the forum could answer this question with more detail, but from what I know, the negotiation list for each team is a list of 35 players. Teams do have a tendency to keep these lists a secret, and it is a “free-for-all” in terms of who you can put on your teams negotiation list. That being said, you have to be a little careful as to whom you place on the list because you don’t want to waste a spot on a player who has little or no interest in coming to the CFL. If I am not mistaken, there is a certain time limit a player can be on a teams negotiation list as well.

  • paul

im not on expert on negotiation lists or anything but i believe teams can add any players they want that arent currently in the cfl but may one day be available. there is a limit to how many players each team can have on the negotiation list (not sure what that number is).

The lists are kept mostly confidential i think…as in only other teams can see who is on who’s negotiation list.

IMO the neg list has zero impact on the ability of a team to recruit talent. The U.S college system put's out 2500 players a year. The NFL absorbs about 100 the other 2400 are available to the CFL so a list of 275 players some of them already on NFL rosters...
Is not an impedement or excuse to recruit in the US.

I'd like to see the Neg list done away with..
I would like to see 2 Drafts... One for Canadian Talent one for world Talent Including US Born Players

It is true that there are plenty of fish in the sea, HfxTC.

It’s not hard to acquire a data base.

Success in recruiting lies with contacting the best CFL type prospects*
as early as possible in their careers, phoning them or their agents often,
visit them at home or on campus at practice, and attend their games.

If you put a player on your negotiation list, you keep in communication
and eventually when their NFL dream fades they may only sign with you.

IMO, the neg list is a very significant factor
in the ability of a team to recruit talent.

IMO, you have a lot better chance of recruiting them than
if you were among dozens of other teams making ‘cold calls.’

*players who don’t fit the NFL mold

Still no clear definition of how this works. I would agree that there are lots of players that come out of the US college systems, and the key to recuiting is making contact with these players either directly, or through contacts in the college system. I just wonder how teams keep track of who is on each teams list, and when changes can be made to the list. I would also wonder what percentage of imports are signed from the negotiation list, as this would provide an idea of just how important they are.

I will see if I can get an answer from Kenny on CatsChat.

Each team files their negotiating list
with the CFL headquarters, jonsie.

The players on them can be changed
any time by notifying the league.

They are not made public but

all CFL teams receive copies of them
and updates as to the players on them.

IMO, these lists are a valuable in many ways,

although, I guess in todays world, some people
would probably consider them a restraint of trade.