Two days after the Canadian Football League suspended the Las Vegas Posse franchise, it postponed the dispersal draft that will assign player contracts.
Originally scheduled today, the draft has been pushed back to Tuesday. In a release announcing the delay, the league said certain teams required more time to study Las Vegas' 59-player roster.
But befitting the turmoil the league has gone through this off-season, there was rampant speculation yesterday that negotiations to put the Posse in Jackson, Miss., had been reopened.
"Something created the situation," said Jim Popp, Baltimore's assistant general manager. "It's one of two things. One, it's to buy time to let people look into the draft more. Or two, there's the possibility somebody is still trying to get the team [in Las Vegas]."
Baltimore owner Jim Speros said last night that he did not know of renewed efforts to relocate the Posse in Jackson.
Even the league's newest team, the Birmingham Barracudas, pronounced itself ready for the draft. On Tuesday, coach Jack Pardee told reporters his coaches had been studying film of the available players.
The delay will keep the Posse players in limbo for five more days. Place-kicker Carlos Huerta, coveted by Baltimore, vented his frustration with Tuesday's announcement.
"I'm not really interested in going to a new team who's going to threaten to fold every week," Huerta told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "The league handled this situation so poorly to allow this to go to the 11th hour -- two months before training camp. It just makes the league look really cheap and rinky-dink."
NOTES: Speros asked league governors to reconsider going back to an East-West format, but was told the league will proceed with plans for a North-South alignment. . . . The first draft of the 13-team schedule has Baltimore playing back-to-back games in Saskatchewan and Edmonton in a six-day period. It also has Baltimore playing three games in nine days in September, two on the road in Memphis and San Antonio.