Thursday, February 18, 2010
Why CFL players head to NFL now
By Mike Sando
The Seahawks have reportedly added two former CFL players this offseason. The Rams tried to sign one of them, Ricky Foley. The Cardinals signed Stevie Baggs, formerly of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
All this activity across the border made me wonder whether we're seeing more CFL players than usual landing with NFL teams.
The numbers are slightly up, according to the CFL. Along the way, I learned how these signings generally work.
A typical CFL contract includes an NFL option window that usually begins Jan. 1 and always ends Feb. 16. Players with such options in their contracts can sign with NFL teams during that window. If later released from the NFL, the player's rights revert to his previous CFL team.
Thirteen CFL players with options in their contracts signed with NFL teams during their option windows, up from 10 last offseason. Five others -- all three added by NFC West teams so far, plus Ryan Grice-Mullen of the Dolphins and Martell Mallett of the Eagles -- agreed to NFL deals as free agents untethered to Canadian teams.
Six of the 10 from last offseason returned to the CFL. But Cameron Wake and Stefan Logan made significant impacts. Wake has challenged Joey Porter for playing time in Miami. Logan became a return specialist in Pittsburgh.
The chart shows all 18 players added from CFL teams this offseason. The CFL confirmed 17 of them, but had no information yet on Foley's reported deal with Seattle, which might not be official yet. I added Mallett to the list after realizing he had been omitted.