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Former CFLers can't quite make the cut in NFL

As far as Canadian Football goes, the Labour Day weekend is often the most anticipated weekend of the regular season.

As far as Canadian Football goes, the Labour Day weekend is often the most anticipated weekend of the regular season.

Although I had to pass up tickets to the Labour Day game, to get thumped in the North Stars' black and white game Sunday as a guest coach, after the win I was happy with the result despite no receivers finding the endzone.

The Roughriders didn't disappoint Sunday with a win over the Blue Bombers, but some former Roughriders maybe didn't get the outcome they were hoping for on the weekend on a personal level. With the NFL season set to start Thursday a handful of former CFLers were hoping to do what few players before have done - make the jump from the CFL to an NFL roster.

When all the official 53-man rosters were set in the NFL the lone former Canadian football player to make the transition was linebacker Cory Greenwood. Greenwood is a Toronto Argonaut draft pick out of Concordia University and landed on the Kansas City Chiefs' roster.

Four other players remain in the NFL, but will hold spots on the practice rosters instead of the official team rosters. Perhaps the biggest surprises of all the players was former Roughrider and last season's defensive player of the year John Chick. During camp in Indianapolis it appeared the coaching staff was impressed with yet another stud off the Roughriders' defensive line, but in the end they weren't impressed enough.

Chick, who would've been a welcome addition to the Green and White for the second half of the season, is now set to practice for this year and try his hand again next season with the Colts.

Joining Chick on NFL practice rosters are last season's top Canadian in the CFL and former B.C. Lion Ricky Foley, who will practice with the New York Jets, former B.C. Lion Martell Mallett with the Philadelphia Eagles and another former Lion and the CFL's 2009 rookie of the year Stefan Logan, who was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Lions.

With those few likely to stay on the practice rosters, there will likely be others coming back to Canada to join CFL teams.

Former Saskatchewan Roughrider, and Mr. Pigeon toe himself, Stevie Baggs was cut from the Arizona Cardinals. The defensive lineman will now add his name to the free agent list. The other former Roughrider is linebacker Renauld Williams, who was cut by the Steelers. Williams' CFL rights belong to the Roughriders. Can you imagine the boost those two would give the Rider's defence, which is already holding their own after an off-season filled with question marks?

Former Montreal kick returner Larry Taylor tried to make the jump, but was cut by the New York Jets and is Alouettes' property if he chooses to return to the CFL.

The B.C. Lions could see a former player returning in fullback Rolly Lumbala. He was cut from the Miami Dolphins and is Lions' property.

Former Blue Bombers, defensive back Jonathan Hefney and receiver Dudley Guice both belong to Winnipeg should they return to the Canadian Football League. Hefney was cut by the Detroit Lions while Guice was released from the Indianapolis Colts.

Defensive lineman Walter Curry was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars and is Toronto Argonauts' property.

Defensive back Bo Smith was cut by the New York Jets and is Hamilton Tiger-Cats' property.

Kyries Hebert played with the Ottawa Renegades and Winnipeg Blue Bombers before being released by the Cincinnati Bengals and could return to the CFL.

Other Canadian players, who may get their first taste of CFL action after being cut from the NFL, include centre Brett Romberg, who was on Atlanta's roster last season, offensive lineman Joel Reinders, who is a Toronto draft pick, receiver and kick returner Sam Giguere, a Hamilton draft pick, and quarterback Graham Harrell, who signed with the Roughriders in 2009 but never saw action.

Who knows who will return for the winter? I know it sounds strange to say they will return to Canada for the winter, but there are some strong players up for grabs and with some teams looking for a momentum shift in their seasons, it could come from a familiar face.