Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

With NFL training camps opening across the United States, it’s time to remind ourselves of the familiar faces who are playing south of the border who carry Canadian passports of have CFL connections.

DL Eli Ankou – Jacksonville Jaguars (N)

CFL rights holder: Ottawa Redblacks

Ankou enters his third season in Jacksonville after appearing in just two games with the Jaguars last season. The UCLA product recorded four tackles in 2018 while fighting through injuries.

TE Antony Auclair – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (N)

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Appeared in all 16 regular season games with the Bucs in 2018, recording seven receptions for 48 yards. Entering a contract year, Auclair will be looking to make waves this season.

Photo credit: Louis Charland
Photo credit: Louis Charland

DL Mathieu Betts – Chicago Bears (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

The third overall pick in this year’s CFL draft will look to make the Bears’ roster after an outstanding four-year stint at Laval. Betts will look to learn from Chicago’s elite pass rusher Khalil Mack.

DB Tevaughn Campbell – New York Jets (N)

CFL rights holder: None

The four-year CFL veteran gets his first NFL look with the Jets. The speedster recorded 53 tackles and four interceptions in 42 games with the Stampeders, Roughriders, and Alouettes.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

DL Jake Ceresna – New York Giants (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The 25-year-old turned an eight-sack season with the Eskimos last year into an opportunity with the Giants. Cerensa has legitimate NFL size at six-foot-five and 295 pounds.

WR Mark Chapman – Free Agent (N)

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Chapman was selected first overall in the CFL draft last year but didn’t sign with the Tiger-Cats due to a contract dispute. He is a free agent after stints in the NFL and AAF.

DL Stefan Charles – Free Agent (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

Charles is a five-year NFL veteran who recently played for the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF. Turning 32 in June, it’s hard to imagine the Regina product ever signing a CFL contract.

DL Christian Covington – Dallas Cowboys (N)

CFL rights holder: B.C. Lions

The Vancouver native recently finished a four-year stint with the Houston Texans by signing a one-year, 1.75-million USD deal with the Cowboys. Covington has 65 tackles and 7.5 sacks to his name.

DL Tyrone Crawford – Dallas Cowboys (N)

CFL rights holder: None

Crawford earned over 10-million USD in 2018, recording 5.5 sacks in 15 starts with Dallas. The Windsor native is currently under contract with the Cowboys through 2020, meaning he will likely never sign a CFL contract.

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

CFL rights holder: Calgary Stampeders

Duvernay-Tardif missed much of the 2018 season due to injury, but he remains a starter along the Chiefs’ offensive line. He’s also a medical doctor, which is pretty cool.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

LB Samuel Eguavoen – Miami Dolphins (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The Texas Tech product signed his first NFL contract this winter after a successful three-year stint with the Roughriders. The 26-year-old is already said to be in the hunt for a starting job with the Dolphins.

DB Erik Harris – Oakland Raiders (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Harris started four games for the Raiders last season, recording 49 tackles and two interceptions. He recently signed a two-year contract extension worth up to 6.5-million USD.

OL Ryan Hunter – Kansas City Chiefs (N)

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

Hunter signed with the Chiefs as a priority free agent last year after going unselected in the NFL draft, spending the season on the club’s practice roster. He has the ability to start at tackle in the CFL should he ever come north.

WR Dontrelle Inman – New England Patriots (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Inman played well for the Colts after joining the team late in the season, recording 28 catches for 304 yards and three touchdowns. He signed with the Patriots in May.

DL Tom Johnson – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Johnson has 25.5 career sacks in eight NFL seasons following a two-year stint with the Calgary Stampeders (2009-2010). He will turn 35 in August.

OL Brett Jones – Minnesota Vikings (N)

CFL rights holder: None

Jones served as the back-up centre with Minnesota Vikings this past season following a trade from the New York Giants. He will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

WR T.J. Jones – New York Giants (N)

CFL rights holder: None

Jones finished his third season with the Lions in 2018, recording 30 receptions for 399 yards and a touchdown in 14 games. The Winnipeg native has never expressed interest in playing in the CFL.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

LB Deon Lacey – Buffalo Bills (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former Eskimo has appeared in 32 games with the Bills since the start of the 2017 season, recording 16 tackles. He will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

DB Kenny Ladler – New York Giants (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Ladler signed with Washington last winter, splitting time between the practice and active rosters before his release in November. The former Eskimo was quickly scooped up by New York where he’ll look to make the team in 2019.

LS L.P. Ladoceur – Dallas Cowboys (N)

CFL rights holder: None

The Montreal native enters his 14th season as the Cowboys’ long snapper. Now 37, Ladoceur is one of the oldest active players in the NFL.

K/P Ty Long – Los Angeles Chargers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former B.C. Lion joins the Chargers where he’ll look to beat out rookie Tyler Newsome for the club’s punting job.

K/P Brett Maher – Dallas Cowboys (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Maher won the Cowboys’ placekicking job last season, connecting on 29-of-36 field goal attempts. He is currently the only placekicker on Dallas’ roster.

DB Mercy Maston – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former Eskimo was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles this winter, though he was waived by the team in May. He remains a free agent.

DB Dexter McCoil – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

McCoil is currently without a team after splitting the past two seasons with Los Angeles and San Francisco. Still just 27, McCoil would be a huge addition for any club if he returned to the CFL.

WR Marken Michel – Philadelphia Eagles (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Michel parlayed two strong seasons with the Stampeders into a contract with the Eagles. He joins brother Sony (running back, New England) in the NFL.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

DB Jonathon Mincy – Chicago Bears (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Mincy spent last season on Chicago’s practice roster. The 26-year-old cover man will look to make the Bears’ active roster this year.

WR Bryant Mitchell – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Mitchell signed with the Cardinals this winter after a four-year stint with the Eskimos. Waived in May, the Northwest State product was quickly scooped up by Tampa Bay.

OL Michael Ola – New Orleans Saints (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Ola has appeared in 38 NFL games since 2014, starting 20. The Hampton product is now with his eighth different NFL team since he left Montreal following the 2013 season.

DL David Onyemata – New Orleans Saints (N)

CFL rights holder: Saskatchewan Roughriders

The University of Manitoba product finished his third season with the Saints last year, recording 35 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He will be suspended for the first game of the season after a run-in with the law this past winter.

OL Austin Pasztor – Tennessee Titans (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

Pasztor completed his seventh NFL season in 2018, his first with Tennessee. The 28-year-old continues to find work south of the border since being selected fourth overall in the 2011 CFL draft.

LB Brian Peters – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Peters completed a four-year stint with the Texans last season, recording nine tackles in 11 games. Now 30, the former Roughrider is looking for work.

DB Jeff Richards – Los Angeles Chargers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Richards split last season between the Buccaneers and Chargers, mostly on the practice roster. The 28-year-old remains with Los Angeles.

DB Shaquille Richardson – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Richardson was cut by Oakland after training camp last season, eventually signing with the AAF’s Arizona Hotshots. He remains a free agent.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

DB Kacy Rodgers II – Free Agent (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Rodgers signed his first NFL contract with the Jets last year but was released following training camp. He has remained a free agent ever since.

OL Justin Senior – Free Agent (N)

CFL rights holder: Edmonton Eskimos

Senior was released by Kansas City last month after a brief stint with the club. He has yet to dress for an NFL game since he was drafted by the Seahawks in 2017.

DL Nathan Shepherd – New York Jets (N)

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Shepherd had a strong rookie season with the Jets last year, recording 15 tackles in 16 games. The Ajax, Ontario native will look to build on that in 2019.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

LB Alex Singleton – Philadelphia Eagles (N)

CFL rights holder: None

The reigning Grey Cup champion is already making waves in camp with the Eagles. The 25-year-old will look to make the roster on special teams — but don’t be surprised if he ends up playing on defence, too.

WR Diontae Spencer – Pittsburgh Steelers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The 27-year-old speedster will look to make the Steelers’ roster as a receiver and return specialist. Spencer was a CFL all-star in 2018, recording 81 receptions for 1,007 yards and seven touchdowns.

LB Jameer Thurman – Chicago Bears (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former Stampeder made 98 tackles last season (82 on defence and 16 on special teams), earning an opportunity south of the border. Thurman is still just 24 years old.

DL Brent Urban – Tennessee Titans (N)

CFL rights holder: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Urban played for Baltimore last year on a one-year, 2.35 USD contract, recording 27 tackles and 0.5 sacks. He will make 1.25-million USD with the Titans this season.

OL Greg Van Roten – Carolina Panthers (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former Argonaut enters his third season with the Panthers as the team’s starting left guard. He was Carolina’s only player to play every offensive snap in 2018.

DL James Vaughters – Chicago Bears (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Vaughters joins former Calgary teammate Jameer Thurman in Chicago where he’ll look to make the Bears’ roster as a defensive end/outside linebacker.

DL Cameron Wake – Tennessee Titans (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The former B.C. Lion recorded only six sacks a season ago and should be a big part of the Titans’ defence in 2019. He signed a three-year, 23-million USD contract with Tennessee during free agency in March.

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

WR D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams – Buffalo Bills (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The CFL’s leading receiver from 2018 parlayed his CFL success into an NFL deal with the Bills. Buffalo’s lack of offensive depth could help Williams in his bid to make the active roster.

WR Jordan Williams-Lambert – Chicago Bears (I)

CFL rights holder: None

The West Division’s reigning Most Outstanding Rookie signed with Chicago this winter after filing a grievance to obtain an NFL signing window. Williams-Lambert is the fifth member of the Bears on this list.

TE Luke Willson – Oakland Raiders (N)

CFL rights holder: Toronto Argonauts

The 29-year-old enters his seventh NFL campaign and his first with the Raiders. Willson caught 13 receptions for 87 yards in a one-year stint with Detroit last season.

WR Brandon Zylstra – Minnesota Vikings (I)

CFL rights holder: None

Zylstra spent last season on the Vikings’ active roster, though he played predominantly on special teams. He was recently placed on Minnesota Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) after suffering an injury late in minicamp.

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

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John Hodge
John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist in the Jon Gott lookalike contest.