Brad Sinopoli won the 2010 HEC Creigthon trophy as the best CIS player of the nation. Kyle Quinlan is 2011 Vanier Cup MVP, wining the championship in grandiose fashion. Both QBs can be qualified as dual threats quarterbacks; effective at both throwing and running the ball. Kyle Graves was AUS all star both as a quarterback and a punter.
All three were released this week, by the Calgary Stampeders and Montreal Alouettes respectively, not even making the practice roster.
As of now, there is not a single canadian quarterback in the CFL. Not one.
For Quinlan and Graves, this conclusion to a 2012 Alouettes training camp was a bit expected as both have another year left at the CIS level. It is in their best interest to play 10 to 12 full games with their respective teams than to be on a PR, barely seeing 12 on 12 practice action in the CFL.
For Sinopoli, it comes as a shocker. After rallying his team in the final minutes of the Stamps’ first pre-seaon game for a dramatic come from behind win against division rivals Edmonton Eskimos, he didn’t see any action in the second pre-season game. He finished the night 5 of 8 for 55 yards and a TD (the only one for his team), adding 20 yards on 4 carries in what can be qualified a clutch performance from the Ontario native.
This turn of event leaves us wondering, what the hell is the CFL doing letting these kids go?
THIS IS OUR LEAGUE. REALLY?
The CFL’s slogan is “This is OUR league”. Is it really? How can we believe such a message when the league lets Canada’s best talent slip away year after year? When is the league going to tackle the canadian QB situation and really make a statement? When is the CFL really going to back its words and turn this situation around?
We hear the same things every year: the canadian QBs are not as developed as the american ones, there aren’t enough great canadian QBs for every team to have one, you’d have a better shot of making the league if you switch position…
Brannagan, Quinlan, Sinopoli, Graves, Greene, Groulx, Shoiry, Faulds, Mueller, Glavic. That’s 10 CIS quarterbacks in the last 3 years. There are only 8 CFL teams.
How can you claim the american QBs are more developed as an excuse and not realize there is a problem? Isn’t this OUR league? Shouldn’t we take pride in developing our own QBs?
You cannot blame a CFL team for cutting a player or judging one is not good enough to be invited to training camp. Teams do what is in their best interest, period. Owners, GMs and coaches are there for one thing and one thing only and that is to WIN football games. And that is how it is supposed to be.
For the situation to change (and this is nothing new) the league needs to take action on the matter. Canadian ratio changer? Additional practice roster spot? Extra cap-space for a canadian QB? Plenty of solutions are out there for the league to play with.
But what the league really needs to do, is to show that it cares. The CFL needs to show its nationwide fanbase that it cares about canadian football, that it cares about canadian players, and their development.
The CFL needs to strengthen its bond with the CIS.
And let me tell you, we are not far off. The CFL is making significant efforts with its involvement in the E-Camp and East-West Bowl. You can tell that the CFL cares, you really do. I’ve seen it. But what it needs now, is to make a bold move and take action on that bond’s most pressing matter: the canadian quarterback.
I will be the first to proudly say “This is OUR league” when they do. Until then, I can only be left to wonder: how many good QBs are they gonna pass on before it happens?