The CFL’s head of football operations Greg Dick is bullish on the league’s Global initiative.
So much so Dick can foresee players from countries outside of Canada and the United States taking roster spots away from national and international athletes.
“These guys are good. I’ll be honest, there are some globals who can be better than Americans. There is a level of talent there that’s significant,” Dick told Postmedia reporter Dan Barnes.
According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, a player qualifies for global status as follows:
(a) Any player who does not hold Canadian or American citizenship and has not been physically resident in Canada for an aggregate period of five (5) years prior to attaining the age of eighteen (18) years, or who does not qualify as a National in any other way.
CFL teams were required to carry one global player on the active roster in 2019. That number increased to two for 2020 and 2021 in the current CBA, which expires following the upcoming season.
“We have a significant number of guys who are going to come to camp, be ready to play and step in right away. We need them to play. We need coaches to give them a shot,” Dick said.
“This might not be great for Canadians because you save a bit on a Global player. For sure we need these guys on the field.”
The CFL has scheduled its Global draft for April 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Players from around the world will be eligible for selection to fill the CFL’s two mandatory global spots on each team’s active roster.
During the 2019 season, CFL rosters featured, for the first time ever, one designated Global player on each team’s active roster and as many as two more on their practice rosters.
In 2021, the number of Global players per team increases to two on the active roster and up to three on the practice roster, with as many as 45 global players competing in the CFL.