The CFL's return to the nation's capital won't happen until the 2008 season at the earliest.
Commissioner Tom Wright confirmed yesterday the timeline for putting football back in Ottawa was too soon for the three parties bidding on the franchise.
"That's sad news," said Calgary Stampeders receiver Markus Howell, who played with the Renegades last year.
"The players spread around the league are all hoping the city gets their franchise back because the people there deserve it."
The league put the Renegades on ice before this season when the ownership group led by Bernie Glieberman walked away from the team.
The players were dispersed through a draft among the league's either other teams and the schedule was re-drawn.
Since then, three groups have stepped up with bids to bring a team back to Ottawa. With this season more than halfway finished, Wright and the league's board felt there wasn't enough time to put a decent marketing plan in place.
The current bidders include a group headed by Alouettes quarterback Jesse Palmer's father Bill, Steelback Brewery owner Frank D'Angelo and another called the Golden Gate, which has a tie to Ottawa 67's owner Jeff Hunt.
Palmer's group seems to the frontrunners because they pushed the CFL to move back the start date to 2008.