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Riders Officially Announce Cuts

Published: Sunday, Jun 10th 2018, 1:06pm

by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

Saturday was a heart-wrenching day for Ridernation as we saw 3 big time fan favourites released. The longest serving Rider, receiver Rob Bagg was the first and was a huge shock to most fans. Personally, Bagg is my favourite Rider of all time. He was never the big flashy guy, he never cracked 1,000 yards in a season, but he just put on his hard hat and went to work. Whatever the team needed, he did it and he did it well. But this move made sense and honestly I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.

The Canadian depth behind Bagg is still a question mark, especially with Jake Harty out of the season, but let’s face it… Chris Jones didn’t really use that Canadian receiver spot for much other than he had to have one out there. Not that Bagg still can’t perform, but Jones just didn’t give the opportunity to him anymore. With guys like Duron Carter, Namaan Roosevelt, Caleb Holley and Bakari Grant getting the bulk of receptions, it left little for the other receiver.

Bagg will definitely have another chip on his shoulder and his passport will help him find another team sooner rather than later. Sadly, we may not get to see him retire as a Rider, but he’s a first ballot Plaza of Honour inductee when he does. Thank you for everything, Rob. I’ll still proudly rock my signed #6.

Next came Bakari Grant, the Riders 3rd leading receiver last year who set career highs in receptions (84), yards (1,033) and touchdowns (5). After signing here last season, most fans had him as the 6th receiver at best and many had him pegged as a Training Camp cut. They were wrong. Bakari was, at times, the most consistent receiver the Riders had last year and he made quite the impression on the community as well. We heard about his community work in Hamilton and even in Calgary in 2016 while he was there for one year, and we saw it on full display last season. His work with Hope’s Home, helping us at Piffles Podcast with charity work in the Piffles Bowl, the man gave his time to others and we have to thank him for that.

He wasn’t here long, but his impact was felt. I’m sad to see Bakari go and whichever team signs him next is getting one hell of a player, but more importantly, one heck of a great man. Thank you Bakari, for all you did here in Saskatchewan.

Then came news that Chad Owens was cut. While he only played a few games last season after recovering from a broken foot, he was great in those games. He did all the promotional work, all the community work and really bought in to the Rider Pride aspect of the team. I’m sure all the young players have learned a lot from being around Chad Owens and it’s a shame we only got a few games out of him.

But this move makes sense. Owens is getting up there in (football) age and hasn’t been fully healthy for some time now. As important as vets like him are, it’s time to go younger with the team.

Then the really curious cut happened. Offensive Lineman Travis Bond. WHAT???

O-Line isn’t the sexiest position, but it’s the most important group on the team. Last year’s big free agent signing Derek Dennis didn’t work out, so he was released and Bond was brought in after an all-star season in Winnipeg. Is this move salary related? I’m sure that had something to do with it. Is it performance related? I doubt it. But it’s not like the Riders O-Line is exactly all that impressive. There is so little depth there, that I have no clue what the plan is there.

Does Dariusz Bladek start at Right Guard now? Does Bruce Campbell get a call? Who’s going to be the 6th man now? Is a trade in the works? Does Peter Dyakowski come back after being released? There are more questions than answers for the O-Line and that isn’t good for a group that was questionable to begin. I wish I knew what Chris Jones was doing here. If this O-Line faulters, Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge are in for a LONG year.

So that was Saturday. On to Sunday were all teams were required to announce their cut list and have their roster trimmed down to 46 players, a 10 man practice roster (you can have fewer and add later) and whoever will be on the injured lists.

Among those released are:

OL Emmanuel Adusei

OL Travis Bond

OL Timothy Gardner

OL Dalton Houghton

WR Rob Bagg

WR Bakari Grant

WR Chad Owens

WR Mitch Picton

QB B.J. Daniels

RB Storm Johnson

RB David Cobb

RB Bryce Viera

DL Rakim Cox

DL Arthur Miley

DL Gary Wilkins

LB Dillon Grondin

LB Kalen Jackson

LB Tyrell Robinson

DB Jeremy Cutrer

DB Tristan Doughlin

DB Reggie Hall

DB Orlandus Harris

DB Rudy Johnson

Added to the Practice Roster are:

FB Albert Awachie

DL Mathieu Breton

LB Alexandre Chevrier

OL Takoby Cofield

LB Alexandre Gagne

DB Aaron Ivory

DL Treson Mafuta

DL Curt Maggitt

WR Kyran Moore

RB Zac Stacy

Added to the 6 Game Injured List:

OL Josiah St. John

WR Jake Harty

K Tyler Crapigna

LB Kevin Francis

LB Brandyn Bartlett

We will discuss all of the Riders roster moves in The Opening Kickoff (presented by Kathy Feszczyn of Royal Lepage Regina Realty) of episode 79 this week. In the Tall Grass Apparel Engaging With the Enemy, hear from Toronto Argonauts starting QB Ricky Ray, the Cypress Hills Destination Area Piffles Player Profile will be back and much more all on this week’s Piffles Podcast presented by Dairy Queen on Elphinstone St and Sask Drive.


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