Insider Talk: Bo’s bonus, CFL free agency, roster changes

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

It’s that time again — time for some of the rumours that are swirling behind closed doors in CFL circles.

My first edition of Insider Talk was well-received last week. Thanks to everyone who shared the article and offered their support — it was great to see that so many people still enjoy this content.

Without further ado, here’s the latest chatter from around the league. Don’t forget to come back next Wednesday for more Insider Talk.

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I heard that we (as a league) might go back to 44-man rosters in order to save money. (The CFL currently has 45-player active game day rosters with a one-player reserve list).

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The biggest off-season roster bonus is (Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback) Bo Levi Mitchell’s. He gets $350,000 on February 1.

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I heard Toronto tried to trade for (Blue Bombers’ offensive lineman) Cody Speller last year. He’s good, he’s young and he can play centre or guard. It wouldn’t surprise me if they (the Argonauts) end up signing him as a free agent. He’s from around there, too.

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The CFLPA was really short-sighted when they agreed to slot all the draft money. If a guy gets picked in the third round because he’s already signed an NFL deal, why should he have to sign a three-year deal at $65,000 or $70,000 to play in the CFL? You’re actually making it tougher to recruit top Canadians by doing that. They should amend the rule (regarding slotted draft money on the next CBA) so it doesn’t apply to guys who have signed NFL contracts.

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I don’t really care about this Edmonton name business but I saw that list (of fan-submitted names) on your site. ‘Elite’ is a tricky one because what happens if you suck?

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I’d bet my house that (Toronto Argonauts’ fullback Régis) Cibasu signs with Montreal (in free agency). He’s one of Danny (Maciocia)’s guys from the (University of Montreal) Carabins. Danny’s going to push to sign all of his former players in free agency.

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Isn’t the commissioner’s job to generate revenue? What new money has he (Randy Ambrosie) brought into the league? They could hire an accountant for way less to make cuts all over. He’s pissed off everyone.

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I was shocked when (Oklahoma State running back and Sherwood Park, Alta. native Chuba) Hubbard went back to school this year. His (NFL) draft stock was going to go down if one of two things happened: his production went down or he got hurt. Both did.

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I’m tired of this bitching about players getting no upfront money. Last I checked, the XFL and the AAF didn’t hand out any signing bonuses.

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(University of Tennessee receiver and Brampton native Josh) Palmer is going to be in the NFL for a long time. His numbers aren’t great but he’s going to test well and my NFL contacts love his film. Most places project him as going undrafted right now but I bet he gets picked (in the NFL draft).

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