Riders release Charleston Hughes

Charleston Hughes is free to sign with any CFL club after being given his release by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday afternoon.

The 37-year-old led the CFL with 16 sacks during the 2019 season.  It’s the 5th time in his career he has led the league in sacks.

He came to Saskatchewan in 2018 from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a trade for quarterback Vernon Adams.

During his time with the Riders, he had 31 sacks in 34 games to go along with 85 tackles, 7 forced fumbles and two touchdowns.

“After ongoing negotiations that took place over the last several weeks, we were unable to come to an agreement with Charleston,” Riders general manager Jeremy O’Day said in a statement. “While we are disappointed, we want to thank Charleston for his dedication to the Riders and to the Saskatchewan community during his time with the club.”

Hughes joined the Sportscage with Derek Taylor shortly after the release was announced and said he is relieved to be able to turn the page on this part of his football life.

“I’m in a happy place because I don’t have to keep doing a back-and-forth on a contract I knew was never going to happen.” Hughes said. “If I was wanted, the contract would have been done and I would still be in Saskatchewan.  The thing is you go into negotiations saying I want to be in a place where I’m comfortable and you feel wanted. That is what it boils down to.  There just wasn’t enough give and take for me.”

Hughes said there was about a $15,000 gap between what he wanted and what the football team was offering. Even though he says he reduced his ask below what he was to earn in 2020, it wasn’t enough.

As for what the next step is, Hughes says he has had some discussions with a couple of teams but nothing has been established.  He says there is one team in his crosshairs and he is giving about 48 hours for something to happen.  If that doesn’t occur, he will wait to see what offers he gets.




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