CFL landing spots for the final NFL cuts

This past Wednesday I wrote a piece detailing the status of former CFL players and Canadians who were participating in NFL training camps. Listed below are the final cuts NFL teams have made to finalize their 53-man rosters.

Teams down south will begin forming their practice rosters on Sunday, meaning that some of the players listed below may yet earn work with NFL teams this season.

The following players have been released by their respective NFL clubs. Bold text indicates players who have been released since the NFL’s 75-man cut down deadline.

Player NFL team Date released CFL rights
DL Willie Jefferson (I) Washington 08/27/16 None
OL David Foucault (N) Carolina Panthers 08/28/16 Montreal Alouettes
RB Lache Seastrunk (I) New York Jets 08/28/16 None
DB Aaron Grymes (I) Philadelphia Eagles 08/29/16 None
DB Brandon Browner (I) Seattle Seahawks 08/29/16 None
DB Elie Bouka* (N) Arizona Cardinals 08/30/16 Saskatchewan Roughriders
WR Troy Stoudermire (I) Minnesota Vikings 08/30/16 None
DB Arjen Colquhoun (N) Dallas Cowboys 08/30/16 Edmonton Eskimos
RB Cameron Marshall (I) Jacksonville Jaguars 08/30/16 None
WR Terrell Sinkfield (I) Minnesota Vikings 08/30/16 None
WR Dobson Collins (I) Baltimore Ravens 08/30/16 None
OL Garry Williams (I)
Chicago Bears 09/02/16 None
LB Henoc Muamba (N)
Dallas Cowboys 09/02/16 None
DL Andy Mulumba (N)
Kansas City Chiefs 09/02/16 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
WR T.J. Jones (N)
Detroit Lions 09/03/16 None
DL Freddie Bishop III (I)
New York Jets 09/03/16 None
DL Tristan Okpalaugo (I)
Arizona Cardinals 09/03/16 None
WR Tevaun Smith (N)
Indianapolis Colts 09/03/16 Edmonton Eskimos
WR Rashaun Simonise (N)
Cincinnati Bengals 09/03/16 None
OL Colin Kelly (I)
San Francisco 49ers 09/03/16 None
DL Cleyon Laing (N)
Miami Dolphins 09/03/16 None
DB Marcus Ball (I)
Carolina Panthers 09/03/16 None
OL Brett Boyko (N)
San Diego Chargers 09/03/16 B.C. Lions
OL Michael Ola (I)
Detroit Lions 09/03/16 None

*added to injured reserve

Muamba, who was originally added to the Cowboys’ injured reserve, was released outright by Dallas on Friday. He and Laing have immediately become the biggest free agent fish north of the border. Both are elite-calibre players who could start for virtually any team in the CFL. And while neither player is likely to make the immediate jump north, nine CFL general managers will be keeping a close eye on the future of these two Canadian stars.

Mulumba, Smith, and Boyko’s CFL rights are owned by the Bombers, Eskimos, and Lions, respectively. All were top-15 CFL draft picks and all project as starters north of the border. Smith is expected to join Indianapolis’ practice roster, while Boyko, who spent last season on Philadelphia’s practice roster, may take on the same role in San Diego. Mulumba has exhausted his practice roster eligibility, meaning it is likely he will sign with Winnipeg unless he is able to land a spot on a 53-man roster with another NFL club.

Williams, Ball, and Ola are the three players who are most likely to sign CFL contracts before the conclusion of the 2016 season. All three are at or near 30, meaning it is unlikely that another NFL opportunity will arise. Williams and Ola have experience at the ultra-important left tackle spot, while Ball shone with Toronto in 2013 at the CFL’s unique strong-side linebacker position. It’s also worth noting that Ball’s defensive coordinator in Toronto was current Saskatchewan Roughrider head coach and general manager Chris Jones.

Kelly, Bishop III, and Okpalaugo will likely exhaust all NFL opportunities before returning north. All three players are still just 26 and all have practice roster eligibility remaining.

Jones and Simonise, the two remaining Canadians, are not expected to sign CFL contracts anytime soon. Jones has never expressed interest in playing north of the border, while Simonise will be available in the 2017 CFL draft.

The following players have made 53-man NFL rosters for the 2016 season:

DL Mehdi Abdesmad – Tennessee Titans (N)*

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

DB Delvin Breaux – New Orleans Saints (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DL Stefan Charles – Detroit Lions (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

DL Christian Covington – Houston Texans (N)

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

DL Tyrone Crawford – Dallas Cowboys (N)

CFL rights holder: None

OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – Kansas City Chiefs (N)

CFL rights holder: Calgary Stampeders

OL Orlando Franklin – San Diego Chargers (N)

CFL rights holder: None

LB Jerrell Freeman – Chicago Bears (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DB Erik Harris – New Orleans Saints (I)

CFL rights holder: None

WR Andrew Hawkins – Cleveland Browns (I)

CFL rights holder: None

WR Dontrelle Inman – San Diego Chargers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DB Josh Johnson – Jacksonville Jaguars (I)

CFL rights holder: None

OL Brett Jones – New York Giants (N)

CFL rights holder: None

LS L.P. Ladoceur – Dallas Cowboys (N)

CFL rights holder: None

WR Chris Matthews – Baltimore Ravens (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DB Dexter McCoil – San Diego Chargers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DL David Onyemata – New Orleans Saints (N)

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

OL Austin Pasztor – Cleveland Browns (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

LB Brian Peters – Houston Texans (I)

CFL rights holder: None

P Jon Ryan – Seattle Seahawks (N)

CFL rights holder: None

WR Eric Rogers – San Fransisco 49ers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

DL Brent Urban – Baltimore Ravens (N)

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

OL John Urschel – Baltimore Ravens (N)

CFL rights holder: None

TE Luke Willson – Seattle Seahawks (N)

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

*’N’ denotes national, ‘I’ denotes international

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.