Former CFLers among first players to sign with Alliance of American Football League

The Alliance of American Football has signed its first 100 players for the new spring league and the list includes some former CFLers.

Former Bombers, Redblacks and Ticats kicker Sergio Castillo, former Ticats and Argos receiver Brian Tyms, former Ticats defensive back Will Hill, former Riders running back Marshaun Coprich and defensive lineman Tyriq McCord, who spent training camp with the Ticats, are all going to the new upstart league.

Running back Trent Richardson wants to sign with the AAF franchise in Birmingham, but he is still property of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. And other players are already opting for the AAF over the CFL.

The AAF begins a 10-game regular season with eight teams in February. The first batch of players to sign the league’s standard three-year deal worth $250,000 was announced Monday. The players are allocated based on where they played in college or professionally. Players without geographic ties to an AAF team are allowed to sign with any team.

Players who receive NFL contracts will be allowed to break deals with the AAF, which was founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian.

-with CP files


43 Comments on Former CFLers among first players to sign with Alliance of American Football League

  1. Bombsquad // August 6, 2018 at 4:10 pm //

    A who’s who of nobodies really, although Castillo seemed to have a pretty good leg.

    • It wouldn’t be surprising if that league ended up with decent kickers. There are 41 teams in the NFL and CFL and the Arena league is in one of its barely-still-operating phases, and there are probably more good kickers than that. Plus, a kicker can impress in a minor league without scouts having to guess how the level of competition factored in. It’s a football, that’s a goal post, it’s 50 yards away.

  2. Pennyrocker // August 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

    As far as Trent Richardson is concerned no way is he getting a release from contract. It was very obvious he didn’t want to fulfill his contract with some of the comments made on air. How he claims of nursing a bad ankle which happened before play off last year. Why would the Rider grant a release to this ungrateful player that was not playing for a few years and was given a chance

  3. Who cares….we have our league…with unique rules that has been around for a long…..time

  4. Will be interesting to see how many sign there as opposed to playing CFL ball.

  5. Ticats63 // August 6, 2018 at 5:01 pm //

    I hope this site doesn’t bother too much with this league, any more than it would cover NFL news.

  6. Didn’t Tyms get cut and was without a team? Will Hill…that guy’s attitude got his ass eliminated from the CFL and the NFL. Heck of a ball player but loose cannon. Not an impressive list of ex CFLers.

  7. Didn’t Tyms get cut and was without a team? Will Hill…that guy’s attitude got his butt eliminated from the CFL and the NFL. Heck of a ball player but loose cannon. Not an impressive list of ex CFLers.

    • White Horse // August 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm //

      Hey big Gus…is there an echo here somewhere?
      In other words Nobody has signed with the AAF as yet!

  8. Karen Elyea // August 6, 2018 at 5:10 pm //

    Hope they fail don,t want the CFL to fall because of American greed for more teams for their league. Really worried our great Canadian stle of football go down

    • I don’t think you need to worry…there are literally thousands of prospective pro football players who each year graduate from colleges/universities all over North America–and there are not enough jobs even for all of the better-calibre ones! And several of the ones mentioned here were not even considered adept enough to stick in the CFL (e.g. Marshaun Coprich, who if I recall correctly played in only one game with the Roughriders near the end of the 2016 season–and made so slight an impression that he was gone a week or two later…)

  9. Best CFL FAN // August 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm //

    Tyms was a quality player according to TSN panel last year who said he was best player in Hamilton trainer no camp.

  10. Blue rules // August 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm //

    Good gig for some who’ve already done their playing time or opportunity for those who are just starting. Some others will take the bait. $88K US per year, who can blame them. Football is a short carrier to start with, making bigger $$ while you can makes sense. CFL will be around long after AAF is cancelled and then become stronger afterwards (pick up some of the talented leftovers). Probably perfect for Johnny “I can’t play CFL football” Manzeil. After his contract ends or he gets released, which should be in a couple weeks!
    Can’t imagine a lot of NFL fan will watch for long, lower quality of player, designed players to teams based on their college (lack of control for your team).
    I give it two and one half (2 1/2) years tops.

  11. solara2000 // August 6, 2018 at 5:43 pm //

    Might put a stop (for a while) to the ida of starting the CFL schedule earlier. Here we are in the first week of August and the regular season is already 1/3 over.

  12. MR. Green // August 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm //

    The AAF plan is to Target CFL players IMO, because this is where the next best football talent is. They see the history an want to steal it, however we will always be better.

  13. Alfred E. Newman // August 6, 2018 at 6:39 pm //

    They have a 10-game season starting in Feb. after the super bowl. Even with playoffs and championship game, their season will be over by the end of April or early May. I’ll bet many AAFL all-stars will be signing for CFL training camps.

  14. AAFL is suppose to be a feeder league for the NFL and maybe indirectly for the CFL also. Good NCAA players not drafted or cut by NFL teams and it appears cut by CFL teams also. Really the 2 concerns for the CFL is will these players go the AAFL route in playing pro ball and will the CFL lose guys with expiring contracts to the AAFL vs them resigning in the CFL. Most likely yes to both concerns but only a 8-10 team league so there should STILL be plenty of players for both the AAFL and CFL teams to pick from.

  15. Nightrider // August 6, 2018 at 10:13 pm //

    Will still be better then crap cfl can produce..donf forget xfl return

  16. Bleeding Green // August 6, 2018 at 10:51 pm //

    Maybe some competition for the CFL gets the players in this league compensated a little more for putting their bodies through hell. Just a thought.

  17. I care, why?

  18. Julian Harley // August 7, 2018 at 4:32 am //

    The CFL is a strange version of football that can be fun to watch but I think you will find college players wanting to stay in the U.S. and play the version of football they are more used to playing….

  19. patlynch // August 7, 2018 at 9:01 am //

    Hey Julian, we’ve been playing this “strange” version of football for over 100 years . McGill University vs. Harvard in 1874 rings a bell . I believe I had end zone seats for that one .

  20. Ray Jay Johnson II // August 7, 2018 at 9:27 am //

    Really Hope AAF Sticks around it help push up CFL Sallaries

  21. Edward Leslie // August 7, 2018 at 10:17 am //

    I can’t believe that no CFL team or AAFL team has signed Chad Owens, Bakari Grant, Rob Bagg or Anthony Parker. What’s up??

  22. Many American players come to Canada for cfl and end up living here and becoming citizens after playing days because of opportunities after playing and lifestyle.that why cfl will still be around

  23. CFL set to follow other unprepared businesses like, Sears, Eatons, Kmart evolve or die.

  24. Edward Leslie // August 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm //

    Dick: You don’t really explain what you mean.
    “Evolve” into what exactly? The NFL Junior league?
    I think they should emphasize the Canadian aspect
    more and change the awful path of micro managing the games from the Control centre.
    Even as a long time fan of the CFL, I have a hard time defending the interminably long games. It seems like all the games are over three hours long because of all these reviews, challenges, timeouts, halftime mini concerts, etc. It’s killing the entertainment value. Just get good referees!

  25. Melissa auf der maur // August 7, 2018 at 8:14 pm //

    Don’t be such a Dick has a point. This league is well funded with Silicon Valley money. CFL needs to be proactive. 1. Open NFL window (done), 2. Raise cap (Cba) 3. Reduce or eliminate ratio. People don’t understand the full implications of coddling Canadian players. It creates an artificial scarcity for Canucks which results in overpaying marginal starters and bench warmers. It also means talented imports are underpaid such as when James Wilder was given take it or leave minimum contract. Many now will leave it for AAF or XFL. Protectionism does not fly with Millennial who are more free markets and world citizens due to social media. They want excellence which is why they attend NHL, MLS, NBA, and MLB all of which gave no on field, court, or ice mandates by passport.

  26. Edward Leslie // August 8, 2018 at 1:28 am //

    Melissa, we’ll see if you still truly like that idea if your job is downsized to hire foreign labour instead.
    We’re only talking about around 200 “national” positions out of a population of nearly 40 million. I think we can handle it.
    Besides, tradition is a strong part of any company or industry. Changing fundamental indtitutions to suit the passing whims of millenials is a bad idea.
    That would be like Courtney Love and her group, Hole trying to copy Justin Bieber to appeal to the trendy… if in fact you are THAT Melissa.

  27. Melissa auf der maur // August 8, 2018 at 6:21 am //

    The trend is everyone dies. No Millennial fans no CFL future and Canada is dreaming. Good catch on the Montreal born bass player for Hole. Saw Melissa with Courtney in Phoenix 94.

  28. Melissa auf der maur // August 8, 2018 at 6:23 am //

    Edward the damage is not the 200 players out of 40 m but the over pay marginal talent in a cap league.

  29. Melissa auf der maur // August 8, 2018 at 6:36 am //

    Edward trade barriers are a lose lose war. Trump is retaliating for Canada,s protection ism (including ratios), by slapping tarrifs on Aluminium, paper, and steel. Sakes are slumping. Rule of thumb on trade is “Do what you do best and trade for the rest”. Canada has flooded the 80% US based NHL for years. There have never been any ratios for US based players. NHL knew they needed fast exciting Canadians and Euros to grow the game. Results are plains to see. A thriving 31 team league with most players making million s. Usa players went from 2% of a 6 team league in 1967 to 25% of a 31 team league all on merit. Free trade produces more job’s for everyone. Gross numbers of slits fir Canadians has grown exponentially since 1967.

  30. Robbie Robertson // August 8, 2018 at 7:32 am //

    i am a good example of how free trade works. Born near Montreal on a reservation i am a self taught musician. Bob Dylan heard about me and put me in his band. Melissa is the daughter of Montreal Gazette columnist. Played bass around the MTL. Courtney heard about Mel and hired her. We don’t need no stinking quotas to succeed.

  31. Edward Leslie // August 8, 2018 at 8:55 am //

    Robbie, you and Melissa are rare exceptions to the rule. Without CANCON rules and some degree of protectionism, Canada is just a branch plant of the United States.
    There are even a handful of Canadians (15 maybe) that are in the NFL too. But remember the U.S. expansion teams in the CFL from 1993-95? Not one Canadian on any team!

    I think most CANADIANS want to see CANADIANS in the CANADIAN Football League. Everybody has the same salary cap rules, so there is no actual burden in needing X amount of Canadians.

    Fans aren’t going to come to games in bigger numbers because an American is now playing at Right guard for the Calgary Stampeders, but I can assure you that many fans will lose the connection with the CFL WITHOUT the ratio.
    Lastly, the worst way to market to the fickle millenials is to try and be hip and trendy. Just put out a good product and hope they’ll catch on. Don’t bend over backwards and compromise the CFL’s integrity in a desperate attempt to be relevant. Nothing would be more itrelevant and unhip. Kind of like your grandfather trying to rap. LOL

  32. Evil Empire // August 8, 2018 at 12:24 pm //

    I have no idea if Melissa, and Robbie are indeed THE Melissa, and Robbie. If they are, that’s pretty freaking awesome. I’m a big fan of both of them. Robertson’s an iconic musician/songwriter. With too many hits to mention. Though, The Weight would be my favourite. And, I saw Melissa with Hole, and The Smashing Pumpkins. And, I don’t mind saying I thought Melissa is/was smokingly hot, in the video for Celebrity Skin.

    As a Canadian living in the US the last 5 yrs. I can assure you that free trade in rock and roll radio sucks. Here in the Washington DC area ( including Virginia, and Maryland ). I’ll be lucky if I hear a Cdn band on the FM stations once, or twice per month. When I do it’s usually Rush. Yet, Canada has had so many amazing rock bands. With music I’ve lived, and breathed for five decades. Some of my favourite Cdn bands blow bands away all over this planet, imo. But, I never hear any of them on the radio here.

    And, they actually sensor the music here…ON FREAKING FM RADIO !

    So, talk quotas, and succeeding all you want. But, the average American has no idea how many amazing bands Canada has produced. And, has probably never heard a single song from many of them. And, I think the Cdn artists, and the American public are both worse off because of it.

    Just my opinion.

  33. Mark Hardt // August 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm //

    Evil I have been a public/college radio DJ on and off for years in Cincinnati (Xavier u) Orange County CA (UC Irvine) and now Tampa Bay (Wmnf). I have never thought a second where a band was from. Good is good. I discovered Sloan on WFNX in Boston which has always considered Halifax bands as local. My room mate in Boston introduced me to Skinny Puppy out of Vancouver. Alvvays out of Toronto was on a CMJ mix. Saw the Beaches out of TO at Halftime of a Ticats game and love them now. Americans love good stuff and could care less where they are from. How crazy was the Capitals Stanley cup parade? Guess what most of the players are from Europe and Canada. Does anybody in DC care? Create Cana mixes on Spotify and pandora share by email and twitter or Facebook. Go down to Georgetown, GW, UMD, and other college s in the area. I did on UC Irvine and was on the air for 6 years. Pitch a Great White North show. They will love it.

    • Evil Empire // August 8, 2018 at 10:44 pm //

      Yeah, good music is good music. But, because of politics, bias, a crappy program director, or any number of other things. A person in one country may never hear a band from a country just next door. It doesn’t necessarily mean one band is any better, or worse. Like a DJ might know, and love a band from the other country. That doesn’t mean he can just play it on the radio. And, I’m not talking about college radio. I’m talking about mainstream. Which is clearly what most ppl are listening to. Word of mouth can only go so far. Especially, when so few ppl hear a song to begin with.

      So the, good music is good music argument, honestly holds very little weight in the context of what I’m referring to. Canada has CANCON laws. I don’t know if the same can be said for the US. It doesn’t matter if a band is amazing if you never hear them for whatever reason. Just look at Payola. But, I hear VERY little Cdn music in the US. And, I honestly don’t believe that it’s strictly about what is good music. I love bands from all over the world, too. And, have seen in concert almost every major rock band from the ‘60s through to today if they toured into the mid 80s, and beyond. It took 30 years, or more just for an opportunity for me to even see some of them. Whether someone died, or retired, and weren’t touring. Broke up, and then reformed. Or just never came within 500 miles of where I lived. Some, I was just too young, and had not heard of them, or hadn’t become a fan of yet by the later ‘70s. But, in 2016 my wife, and I took a month to sightsee, and drive from DC, to the Palm Desert near LA, and back for Desert Trip. Dylan, and The Stones on Friday night. Neil Young, and Paul McCartney on Saturday night. And, Roger Waters, and The WHO on Sunday night. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me. And, all of that is coming from someone raised in Edmonton, that went to his first concert in ‘77. That was KISS, and Cheap Trick opened for them. And, since moving to the DC area. For the past five years I make it to Cleveland every year around the 4th of July, to revisit the Rock and Roll HOF.

      If I haven’t seen them. It’s because it was virtually impossible ( Hendrix ). Or, because I simply didn’t want to ( Metallica ). I finally saw Fleetwood Mac in ‘04. I had to travel for that show. Then saw them again in ‘09. But, Christine McVie wasn’t with them either time. Yet, just last year Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie performed right here, at Wolf Trap. So, I got to finally hear some of Fleetwood Mac’s great songs that are sung by Christine. And, “ Everywhere “ is one of my top 3 favourite Fleetwood Mac songs. And, I never thought I’d get to see/hear her do it live. Btw, the album those two recorded together last year, was really good. Not unlike any Fleetwood Mac album. Seeing them on stage together was every bit as special as seeing Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham on stage together. Maybe more so, because I had to wait an additional 13 years for it.


      You see that ? Melissa wasn’t THE Melissa. Not sure if Robertson is either. In fact, I just assumed they weren’t the real deal.

  34. Edward Leslie // August 8, 2018 at 11:02 pm //

    Evil Empire: As a current resident of Edmonton who’s a big music fan & CFL fan to an ex-Edmonton resident who is a big music fan and CFL fan, I appreciated your post.

    Paul McCartney is including Edmonton in his upcoming tour and so is Fleetwood Mac.
    The disturbing thing is Fleetwood Mac kicked Lindsey Buckingham out of the group after all these years! They have replaced him with a good singer, Neil Finn, formerly of Crowded house and Split Enz though. Should be interesting.

  35. Castillo is the only name on this list that his even recognizable. Not worried. CFL needs to pay attention, but 100+ championship games holds clout

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