Although there have been rumors about the 2021 CFL season at the very least being delayed, the league has continued operations as if there will be no interruptions. Part of that is the April 15th Global Draft.
Prior to the draft, the CFL held its Global Combine, where many different players from around the globe were able to participate in measurements and drills to help the CFL scouts determine who was best suited for their teams.
The process has changed since the Global initiative began in 2019. This time, there will be one draft instead of separate selections depending on region.
We already talked about the potential global implications of an XFL and CFL merger, and personally, I believe this is a major reason for the XFL to have interest in the 3-down league.
We have seen the way that the NBA has embraced the talent in other countries – on a worldwide scale, only soccer ranks higher than basketball. There’s no doubt that football is king in America, and yes, the NFL does have an International Player Pathway Program, but it is very limited, and has not had the success some (me) would want.
If the two leagues were to combine forces, the result could open the doors to a much larger talent pool, and could beat the NFL to the punch, if it really takes the prospects of having a team in a different country seriously.
Currently, the CFL requires that each team hold two global players on its active rosters, and up to three on their practice squads. If this rule were to expand beyond the nine teams currently in the CFL to the eight in the XFL, the number of foreign players playing in North America could reach as many as 85.
There is talent on every continent, and bigger, better-funded leagues like the European League of Football – which begins this summer – and the progression of the sport in Japan, whatever comes out of the talks could lead the XFL to become the destination for the world’s best players, and not a stepping stone on the way to the NFL.
While there is no tangible evidence for this opinion, I can’t help but think that this access is what the leadership for the XFL is after. We’ve seen the statements, and we know the focus of Dany, and Dwayne is to not sit in 2nd place for long.
I’m looking forward to what comes of the discussions.
We will have coverage of the CFL Global Draft, which as we said is Thursday, April 15th at 1p eastern. The draft will be in a snake format, where the order goes in reverse every even-numbered round. The BC Lions have the first selection.
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