The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the release of 23 players on Sunday.
Head Coach & GM Chris Jones addressed the media at Mosaic Stadium shortly afterwards:
– 32-year old veteran WR Rob Bagg was among the players released. Jones said it’s one of the toughest cuts he’s ever had to make, but it’s a “young man’s game”. Jones said Bagg is a tremendously loyal and great person and he wishes him nothing but the best. He admitted Bagg wasn’t prepared for the news when told on Saturday.
– Regarding REC/KR Chad Owens, Jones basically said that Father Time is catching up with the 2012 CFL MVP and that injuries are hampering him at the end of his career.
– Jones also said they’ve got such an impressive crop of young receivers that it forced their hand with the aging vets. He said Canadian receivers Devon Bailey and Josh Stanford have both been excellent over the past three weeks.
– Rams product Mitchell Picton was one of the 23 players released but Jones said he thinks the young receiver will figure into their plans down the road.
– Free agent signing OL Travis Bond was also released and Jones said Bond’s salary was a factor, and he wasn’t that much better than those behind him on the depth chart. He said some of the young Americans were very good in the preseason, leading to the release of Bond.
– Kicker Tyler Crapigna will miss the entire season due to injury, one which Jones was unable to describe. Sophomore Brett Lauther will take over there.
– Jones said QB Zach Collaros is fine after “the hit” he took in Friday’s preseason loss to Calgary. He said none of the QBs were happy with their play in that game. Jones also said he’s still “pissed off” over the way his team played against the Stampeders.
– Regarding the outpouring of emotion over the release of Bagg from the Rider Nation, Jones said he understands it and respects the fans but mentioned “If you let the media or someone else’s opinion affect you, you end up being weak.”
– The Roughriders open the 2018 CFL regular season Friday night at home against the Toronto Argonauts in a 7:00 pm kickoff on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.