The Negotiation List

Well that's pretty cool...The Sun identifies some Ottawa property.

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It's top secret no more.

The Sun has learned that the 25-man negotiation list for Ottawa's CFL team went into effect on Friday.

For years, CFL neg lists have been guarded like they're a national treasure. But the Sun has identified seven of the 25 players whose rights belong to Ottawa -- guys who could make an impact here for years to come.

Ever heard of quarterback David Fales?

With Fales at QB, San Jose State went 10-2, with the school's first-ever BCS ranking and first AP Poll ranking since 1975. He was then MVP of the Military Bowl.

Four or five years down the road, this could be Ottawa's QB.

How about wide receiver/kick returner Jamill Smith from Ball State?

He's a 5-foot-8, 140-lb. sparkplug. He's been called too short, too small. But the kid can flat-out play. Think Gizmo Williams.

The kid was a quarterback in Division 3, but wanted to play Division 1 and moved to receiver.

Ball State QB Keith Wenning said of Smith to FOX Sports: "He's proven that size doesn't matter. He's not scared to go up against anybody."

Those are the kinds of guys who Ottawa's special scout Rick Worman, a former CFL QB and assistant coach, has taken notice of during his travels over the last months -- a journey which has given him 75,000 Air Miles and taken him from coast to coast, top to bottom of the U.S.

"I've been a one-man band," said Worman. "Planes, rental cars ... I've seen a lot of games. I'm trying to find somebody who is not going to fit in the NFL for whatever reason."

CFL teams have a 35-man neg list. Ottawa will be allowed to add 10 more bodies down the road.

"It's 99% U.S. players on the list traditionally," said Worman. "The Canadian guys go through the draft. I've tried to set up the list with a variety of players by position. We try to put down guys who have good, not necessarily great ability."

It's proven especially important to identify quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, linebackers, defensive backs and defensive linemen through this kind of a list. Some of these players, many with a year of college eligibility left, will be good enough to stick in the NFL; some won't.

"It's first-come, first-served (with the neg list)," said Worman. "Once you put him on there, he's yours until you take him off."

Part of the reason for keeping these secret is if a player finds out he's on a list, he can ask to be signed. If the team doesn't want to do it, that player can ask to be released.

"If I put somebody down who was on an NFL roster or somebody who had just graduated, we wouldn't be able to sign him and we could lose him," said Worman.

It's all pretty exciting -- attaching names to a franchise that hasn't yet been named, a team that won't hit the turf for another year and a half.

Football is in the air.

Twitter: @TimCBaines


RB Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona

5-foot-10, 200 lbs.
Ranks fifth in school history with 2,494 career rushing yards in 22 games

QB David Fales, San Jose State

6-foot-3, 220 lbs.
Threw for 3,798 yards with 31 TDs last season; MVP of the Military Bowl, completing 33-of-43 passes for 395 yards

LB Kyle Van Noy, BYU

6-foot-3, 235 lbs.
53 tackles, 13 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions; third-team All-American; potential high draft pick in NFL, but will remain at school next season

DB Nickell Robey, USC

5-foot-8, 165 lbs.
49 tackles, one interception; cornerback already declared for this year's NFL draft, but size makes him potential CFLer; second-team All Pac-12;

DL Niasi Leota, Utah

6-foot-4, 278 lbs
Six tackles last season

WR Justin Brown, Oklahoma

6-foot-3, 214 lbs.
Caught 73 passes for 879 yards, five TDs; transferred from Penn State before last season

WR/KR Jamill Smith, Ball State

5-foot-8, 140 lbs.
Caught 69 passes for 706 yards and 6 TDs; first-team All-Mid-American Conference</blockquote>

Checking out these guys I think Worman did a good job finding some CFL type players that will be coming out in the spring of 2014.
Apparently USC CB Nickell Robey is coming out this year for the NFL draft, so he must have an idea there are NFL teams interested in him. But he is small at 5'8 165, so he could be in play for Ottawa down the road.
But it is a start, to go along with the Canadian redshirt juniors they will pick this spring in the CFL draft.

With the CFL draft on the horizon it is getting to be the time for Ottawa fans to start looking at what underclassmen are available for the RedBlacks to pick.

The top players who can be picked by Ottawa (as far as I know) would be:

LB Boseko Lokombo 6'2 235 Oregon
OT Nolan McMillan 6'6 290 Iowa
DT Brent Urban 6'7 280 Virginia
DT Brander Craighead 6'6 280 Texas El Paso
DE Kalonji Kashama 6-4 260 East Michigan
WR Stephan Alli 6'6 221 Florida
DE Conner Williams 6'3 270 Utah State

Lokombo and McMillan are rated as first round picks. Ottawa should hope to get two of the rest of these guys, but the other teams won't do them any favours. Hopefully they can snag Craighead or Urban with their first pick and then maybe Alli or Williams will still be there at number 18.
After that they will have to take a flyer on some second division players and hope they get lucky with someone who can be a special teamer and a backup type.
But it will be a start to go with their expansion draft and next years college draft.

Ottawa did pretty good. Getting McMillan, Williams and Kashama. So that is three out of what I thought were the top seven, but Hunter Steward kind of came out of no where and should have been listed up there as well. Montreal obviously thought so.

I see McMillan as a potential starter providing he doesn't end up in the NFL. Williams and Kashama should be potential swing guys on the D-Line.

They may not have gotten their top target but they got four players, two really good prospects and two who are projects. Considering they figured they would get two players. They made out really well. I'm glad they got four. Had there been no players for them to pick would have been a black eye on the league. Not surprised Calgary stole Ottawa's main target. They will likely try to work out a deal with Ottawa in exchange for Ottawa not taking one of Tate or BLM. Go get them Marcel !


I see McMillan as a J'Michael Deane type player. playing for a big time DI Big ten school. Starter his Univerity career at onther position but has worked his wat to a top OT for his team by his Sr season. Like Deane McMillian could start his career in the CFL on the interior but eventually be solid as a RT. Deane was the starting LG last year for Calgary for the most part but when needed started a string of games at RT, a position he started everygame for Michigan State his SR season, and th Stamps Oline did not skip a beat with him at RT. In the future a possible ratio buster as a Candian RT. A lot of teams are going in that direction grooming a Canadian to play RT. Will help a lot with the ratio but also with the specialty defenses as the Line spot of 4 Candians gives you 4 ratio spots while on defense a Candian Player may not start and split time with an import for different packages of specialty defense. No longer are Candian Back up D players just special teamers. In cover two Defences you will see two Canadian Safety's on the filed on a regular basis as well as bring ing a better pass coverage LB like the Riders ended up doing the second half of last season with Hurl replacing Lobo on a regular basis in passing packages. So although Hurl was not considered a starter or part of the starting ratio he saw a lot of time on the filed in defense with different packages.
Can't just look to have 7 Canadian players to be able to start as up to 3 - 5 need to come off the bench in a Dline rotation or special passing or running packages