Calgary Stampeders Block Derrick Jones From Signing With USFL

Calgary Stampeders Block Derrick Jones From Signing With USFL

Earlier this week the USFL held their inaugural draft, which saw all eight teams building out their rosters. In what should have been an exciting day for the players getting picked up, one player was blocked from joining the league.

In the 9th round, the New Orleans Breakers picked up cornerback Derrick Jones who most recently played for the CFL. During the event, we saw a good amount of former CFL players joining the USFL, with a select few playing as recently as last season. Jones was one of those players, and it turns out the Calgary Stampeders weren’t ready to let him go.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported yesterday that Jones’ being signed away from the CFL was an oversight and subsequently would be removed from the USFL.

The interesting part of this is that it seems that Derrick Jones learned of this, not from the CFL, but from Farhan’s Tweet. Jones then goes on to share screenshots of messages with Stampeders staff explaining that he wanted out of his contract to explore opportunities in the United States weeks before the draft.

It looks like Jones signed a CFL contract Feb 1st, but asked to be released just 11 days later. After messaging the Stampeders staff, he was never given a reply. That is, until he told them he was leaving for the USFL, at which point he was told that they “will be in touch after they speak with the league”.

Since then, no response from the CFL until after he was drafted by the USFL.

Clearly, this is a mess, and the CFL’s handling of the situation doesn’t make it any better. At the end of the day, moves like this will only make players more apprehensive about heading up north if they know they are stuck there and kept out of better opportunities.

Lalji does bring up a very interesting statistic as well, 55 of the players drafted to the USFL were on negotiations lists with the CFL.

One thing is for sure, Larry Fedora and the Breakers are out one pick. Luckily for them, the USFL is set to have a supplementary draft next month before training camp is set to begin.

What are your thoughts on how the CFL handled this situation? Let us know down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.

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  1. Full disclosure, I am a Calgary Stampeder fan. I cannot speak to these events as how they are being reported as true or false, nor do I have any inside knowledge about the Stampeders organization. I can understand Mr. Jones’s frustration with the situation but I also don’t think he’s handling it in the most professional manner, either. He doesn’t know for a fact that Calgary was ignoring his requests; perhaps the Stampeders were trying to figure things out but because it’s off-season, people are away, COVID means less meeting, and whatnot, they didn’t get to his requests in a timely manner. Firing off angry tweets, sharing private messages, seems the wrong route to go for a player. However, I also don’t know Derrick Taylor so it’s not fair for me to guess his intentions. This is all to say that since he obviously isn’t somebody who wants to be on the team, I feel the Stampeders should cut him loose. It’s too bad because his position is one that has openings and he seems to have the skills and body-type perfectly suited for the CFL. I wish him all the best in his pursuits and hope he might have a change of heart and end up in Calgary colors.

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