On the off-chance Tua Tagovailoa ends up in the CFL, Hamilton has his rights

Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa waves to fans Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, as the team returned to Tuscaloosa, Ala. Alabama defeated Georgia in 26-23 in overtime in Monday night’s NCAA college football championship game. (Joe Songer/AL.com via AP)

A professional football team is already positioning itself for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats — the same CFL team that almost hired Art Briles and is currently in a negotiating window with Johnny Manziel — have added Alabama’s national championship hero to their negotiation list.

Tagovailoa, a freshman in 2017, isn’t eligible for the NFL draft for two more seasons, so it’s a bit early to talk about his professional future. But the CFL operates differently than the NFL does. Teams are allowed to select players’ rights for negotiation and then a player can exercise a 10-day negotiation window.

That means that if Tagovailoa’s career has a future with the CFL, the Tiger-Cats have his rights ahead of the rest of the league. It’s a shrewd move, even if the chances of Tagovailoa playing in the CFL are slim.

The negotiation list is why Hamilton is negotiating with Manziel, the former Texas A&M quarterback and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Manziel worked out for the team in September and it has offered him a contract. Manziel’s camp has said it will negotiate with Hamilton until the end of the month. 

The team hired Briles, the disgraced former Baylor coach, in August as its assistant head coach for offense but reneged on the deal after a swift backlash.

Tagovailoa spent most of the season as the backup to Jalen Hurts, who started for Alabama against Georgia on Monday night. After Hurts was 3-8 passing for 21 yards, Tagovailoa entered the game in the second half and threw three touchdowns, including a game-winning 41-yard score in overtime.

Thursday afternoon, Tagovailoa tweeted his appreciation for what Hurts did. Hurts is 26-2 as a starter at Alabama and has started two-straight title games.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!