TORONTO — If the second time with the Philadelphia Eagles isn’t the charm for tight end Adam Zaruba, the CFL could become an option for the Canadian rugby player.
The six-foot-five, 265-pound Zaruba, a member of Canada’s rugby sevens squad, is preparing for his second training camp appearance with the Eagles. He signed with the NFL club last year three days before the start of camp but was released in September.
Zaruba, 26, of North Vancouver, B.C., re-signed with Philadelphia in January just before the Eagles made their Super Bowl-winning run.
On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders revealed Zaruba as one of 10 players on their 45-man negotiation list, giving the club exclusive rights to Zaruba should he decided to play football in Canada.
All nine CFL teams revealed 10 players who are currently on their negotiation lists. Not surprisingly, the biggest names were quarterbacks, most notably Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma (Toronto Argonauts), former NFL starters Robert Griffin III (Hamilton Tiger-Cats) and Colin Kaepernick, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (B.C. Lions), Penn State’s Trace McSorely (Saskatchewan) and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (Hamilton), who as a freshman came off the bench to rally the Crimson Tide past Georgia 26-23 in overtime in this year’s BCS title game.
Interestingly, Minnesota State receiver Shane Zylstra is on Edmonton’s negotiation list. Zylstra’s older brother, Brandon, had 100 catches for 1,687 yards and five TDs last season with the Eskimos before signing with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in January.
In January, CFL presidents and GMs met in Banff, Alta. and agreed to have teams release the names of some players on their negotiation list.
“After meeting with team executives and player personnel earlier this year, it was collectively decided to publish a portion of the negotiation list to engage fans, show a glimpse of the talent teams are looking to acquire and continue the momentum regarding the off-season news cycle,” CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement.
CFL teams can have up to 45 players on their negotiation list which gives them exclusive negotiating rights to those players should they decide to play in Canada.
Players can be added, or removed, at a team’s discretion on a first-come, first-serve basis. Clubs own exclusive rights to those players so long as they’re on a negotiation list.
After meeting with team executives and player personnel earlier this year, it was collectively decided to publish a portion of the negotiation list to engage fans, show a glimpse of the talent teams are looking to acquire and continue the momentum regarding the offseason news cycle,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.
Last year, Hamilton confirmed that former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was on its negotiation list. It was hardly a secret given it was common knowledge the former NCAA star had been on Hamilton’s list since his days at Texas A&M.
Manziel has yet to come to terms with the Ticats but their public declaration of his presence on their negotiation list was a rare occasion as CFL teams have traditionally been very tight-lipped regarding which players are on their negotiation lists.