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New rules should aid CFL in Ottawa

When Ottawa’s latest shot at success in the Canadian Football League takes to the field in 2013, it should be better equipped to compete than the last version.

When Ottawa’s latest shot at success in the Canadian Football League takes to the field in 2013, it should be better equipped to compete than the last version.

The league announced an expansion draft plan yesterday that will give the as-yet-unnamed team significant advantages over what the Ottawa Renegades faced in 2002.

The biggest change will see existing teams allowed to protect only one quarterback, one less than was the case the last time around.

“In my opinion, it’s another positive step forward on this road we’ve been going down for the last two and a half years,” said Ottawa ownership group frontman Jeff Hunt, noting that none of the quarterbacks in the Renegades inaugural training camp had taken a snap in the CFL the previous season.

“This time, it’s very realistic we’ll have two quarterbacks coming in who have CFL experience.”

There are several other improvements approved by the league that should help Ottawa in establishing itself as a competitive team.

In the first round of the import draft, existing teams can protect only one quarterback and 10 imports, allowing Ottawa to select one import player from each team. In the second round, each club can protect only six non-imports.

Ottawa will also have the first pick in each round of the 2013 Canadian draft as well as the final selection in the first four rounds of the 2012 draft. Those selections will be restricted to red-shirted NCAA players.

Ottawa will also be allowed to start building a negotiation list prior to its first season.

League commissioner Mark Cohon said he believes the format strikes a good balance.

“Our goal has been clear throughout: To give Ottawa the chance to field a competitive team without unfairly undermining our existing franchises,” he said in a statement. “We are confident this plan meets that objective.”

 
 
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