Players That Made The Cut For The 2022 CFL Global Program

The Canadian Football League (CFL) begins its season to great fanfare – this being the first full season since before the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 18 games will be played between nine different teams in the coming months.


The 2022 season also marks the third year of the Canadian Football League’s Global Program. The program was created to encourage the drafting of international players who did not hail from the US or Canada.


Every game day, each of the nine teams in the league will dress one foreign-born player though they can choose to include additional global players on their roster if so desired.


This initiative is seen as a way to make the league more inclusive, diverse and welcoming to new talent that might otherwise be neglected due to a lack of access to the traditional drafting schemes used in organizations such as the National Football League (NFL).


The program also encourages more international fans to tune in and find ways to participate in the sport.


There were some surprises this season – such as Thiadric Hansen, the German Defensive End who had been drafted to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers until recently but is now a free agent. He had become the face of the Global program.


However, it is predicted that Tyron Vrede of the Ottawa Redblacks will become the new PR darling of the program within the CFL.


At the conclusion of their pre-season, each team is only allowed to include 45 players on their roster. As we gear up for the first games of the season — let’s take a look at who has made the cut for the 2022 Global Roster.


BC Lions

Belgium // Defensive Tackle // Tibo Debailllie


After being cut from the Edmonton Elks, Tibo Debaillie will be the only Global player on the Roster for the BC Lions.


As a defensive tackle, Debaillie is filling a gap on the Lions’ roster which they have been seeking to fill. While other teams have struggled to properly utilize their global players, it appears as if the Lions will not have this problem.


However, Debaillie is the only international player who will be dressed on the team — meaning that if he is injured, the Lions will need to go back to the drawing board in order to stay compliant with the CFL guidelines regarding international players.


Edmonton Elks

Denmark // Offensive Lineman // Steven Nielsen


After cutting many from their international roster, including Debaillie, the Elks have decided to keep Offensive Lineman, Steven Nielsen of Denmark in their program.


There are other players in the practice teams, such as Brazilian Kicker, Rafael Gaglianone, who are being reserved in case Nielsen is not able to dress for a game.


Calgary Stampeders 

Australia // Cody Grace // Punter

Australia // James Smith // Punter


While second seasoner, Cody Grace was supposed to lead the Stampeders global roster this season, a groin injury has created a delay which is being filled by fellow Aussie, James Smith.


Smith, who played at the US College level for the University of Cincinnati is seen as a viable backup option for the team.


The Calgary Stampeders have one of the largest global roster programs of the 2022 season, with players from Australia, the UK and Brazil committed to the team — including Bamidele Olaseni, from the UK, who might be added mid-season depending on how his NFL draft goes.


Saskatchewan Roughriders

Norway // Punter // Kaare Vedvik


The Roughriders had a bit of a shake up when defensive end/fullback Chris Ezeala of Germany decided to unexpectedly retire. However, they have found solace in the addition of Norwegian Kaare Vedvik, who will be the team’s new punter.


The Saskatchewan Roughriders have a lot riding on this addition to the team, especially after Ezeala’s retirement. However, fans have already voiced their excitement at this roster change.


Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Japan // Linebacker // Les Mauro


After cutting the face of the CFL Global Roster program, Germany’s Thiadric Hansen from their roster – Winnipeg is looking to Japanese Linebacker Les Mauro to take the mantle. He greatly impressed coaches after he completed six tackles in just seven games.


Toronto Argonauts

Australia // Punter // John Haggerty


The Argonauts shocked many when they cut some of their most talented players, including Asnnel Robo of France and Tigie Sankoh of the UK.


As with many of the teams already reviewed, the Toronto Argonauts will be instead putting their global roster pick in the punter position.


John Haggerty of Australia will be continuing his football vocation in Toronto after completing a successful career at Western Kentucky University.


Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Australia // Punter // Joel Whitford


Staying with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for another season, Joel Whitford will continue on as the team’s punter. However, the team has also stacked its practice roster with global names in case Whitford is injured or starts underperforming.


Ottawa Redblacks

Netherlands // Linebacker // Tyron Vrede


A graduate of the University of North Dakota football program, Tyron Vrede of the Netherlands has decided to remain with the Redblacks for another season. He is largely considered one of the most talented players of the global roster program.


Montreal Alouettes

Australia // Punter // Joseph Zema


The Montreal Alouettes have decided to keep Aussie Joseph Zema on their game day roster in the punting position.


They have also drafted Nigerian Kingsley Jonathan, of the Buffalo Bills, to the Alouettes but they are still waiting for his formal release. He is likely to be a mid-season roster addition.


Considering the long history of the Canadian Football League, this season is shaping up to be one if its best!

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