Sunday was cut down day in the CFL as every team trimmed their roster. In all the Riders let go of nine players, but also added one more.
Several imports were released including running back Demetrius Crawford, linebacker Chris Graham, defensive lineman Boo Robinson, defensive back TJ Rushing, defensive lineman Curtis Gatewood, and slotback Jason Chery.
There were also a couple of non-imports let go: running back Nathan Riva, defensive back Dominic Noel, and defensive lineman Renaldo Sagesse.
“(For) some of the guys it was pretty tough because they’ve been through it a couple of times, some of the guys it was their first time and they didn’t know how to handle it,” said head coach Corey Chamblin. “The biggest thing trying to see what the guys would do from here.”
Some of those cut were encouraged to keep playing football, while some of the other players were told it was time to explore other career options.
Chamblin said he met with every player individually, something he felt he had to do after having been on the other side before.
One of the more surprising releases was Graham, but his passport had a lot to do with it. Chamblin said the mac linebacker spot would be Canadian this year.
“We thought let’s give him a shot at will linebacker and see what he can do there,” said Chamblin. “He felt he was a purely a mac, we tried to give him reps at both places.”
Despite making a great one handed catch in his only pre-season game Chery won’t be with the team either.
“He did make some plays for us,” said Chamblin. “I don’t think he was grasping the offense as fast as the other guys.”
The battle to be the number one running back is a little clearer now with Crawford being let go. Chamblin said his experience was a big factor in that decision.
“When you look at those other guys, they had a bit more explosion. I don’t think we’ll miss a beat from some of the guys we had here in the past.”
The Riders also added some depth to their defensive line, bringing in Jay Alford. The six-foot-four, 300 pound player joins the team after playing last season in the UFL, having previously played for the 2008 Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
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