Rick Zamperin: CFL teams draft Mexican players. So, now what?

The Canadian Football League made history on Monday by conducting its first ever draft of players from Mexico.

The CFL’s nine franchises selected 27 players from the Professional American Football League of Mexico (LFA) after holding a combine for the hopefuls on Sunday.

Edmonton earned the first overall pick and selected receiver Diego Jair Viamontes Cotera.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats took receiver José Humberto Noriega Montiel, as well as running backs Omar Alejandro Cojolum Delgado and Luis Humberto López Tinoco.

So, now what?

Is the CFL going to mandate that all teams employ at least one player from Mexico? Or will they simply compete for a spot with the other Internationals (99.9 per cent Americans)? And will there be an annual draft in Mexico?

The answers to those questions, I think, are easy ones. But there are more pressing questions.

What is the CFL getting out of this deal? Extra money from merchandise sales in Mexico? How many José Humberto Noriega Montiel Ticats jerseys do they think will be scooped up? The answer is a handful, at most, if any.

I applaud CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie for thinking outside the box and wanting to take the game global, but I just don’t see there being very many benefits other than perhaps some TV revenue for the league if games are going to be broadcast in Mexico, and I guess there’s a chance that a team will find a diamond in the rough from the LFA.

But apart from that, I don’t anticipate the excitement level among Canadian football fans to be off the charts.

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