With bonus looming, Riders release LB Henoc Muamba

After a number of high-profile personnel moves, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have cut Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba, per sources.

The 28-year-old was due a $35,000 payment on Feb. 15.

As part of the final season of a three-year deal signed at the tail end of 2016, Muamba was paid $35,000 in January.

The Riders were also shopping Muamba on the trade market, according to sources.

Last season, Muamba had his best year since the CFL all-star campaign he put together in 2013. The 28-year-old played in 17 games making 82 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions to earn the Riders Most Outstanding Canadian award.

Muamba has played in 73 career games since Winnipeg selected him No. 1 overall in the 2011 CFL Draft. He has recorded 267 tackles, 74 special teams tackles, 11 forced fumbles, six sacks, four interceptions and one touchdown.

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan signed Canadian linebacker Sam Hurl who started 18 games for Winnipeg in 2018 giving the team another national option on defence.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (936 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

88 Comments on With bonus looming, Riders release LB Henoc Muamba

  1. Green is the Color // February 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm //

    Hmm, not sure on this, seems more like JD is looking for click bait than anything of substance. I do not think the Rider cut Henoc to save the money if he doesn’t re-up.

  2. $220k…Whoa!

  3. Blue rules // February 14, 2018 at 4:22 pm //

    Sounds like the Saskatchewan Blu Bombers

    • Bad to the bone // February 14, 2018 at 4:49 pm //

      Sorry Blue… Henoc left the Bombers high and dry. When Henoc went to SK the word Bomber wasn’t even in his vocabulary. That green Bomber uniform got to you… didn’t it. Remember all the Rider QBs the Bombers signed. Drew Willy, Jeff Tedford, Kevin Mason, Hal Ledyard, Homer Jordan, John Hufnagel, Kevin Glen, Tom Clements, Rick Cassata, Tom Burgess, Michael Bishop, Kent Austin. Best give it up Winnipeg Roughrider

      • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm //

        You do realize that in a 9 team league there are bound to be a lot of re-treads right? There are only so many players who are good enough to make a team. I can think of a few ex-Bombers playing on the Riders, does that make them the Saskatchewan Blue Bombers? No it just means that either they or the team moved on. But based on other posts you’ve made on previous articles I await my tired “1990” comment :p

    • You mean the Winnipeg wanna be Riders??

      • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm //

        Now Me, I don’t know if anyone WANTS to be the Riders lol

        (I’m not looking to start a comment war so I hope you get the tongue in cheek aspect of the post)

      • Red&White Forever // February 14, 2018 at 9:00 pm //

        The Winnepeg wanna be Riders wanna be Stampeders. FTFY.

  4. Hurl ain’t no Muamba. Pay the man Chris Jones, just how many players are getting ripped off their due bonuses this season? Just what is a contract for? After signing all the rest of Riders FA’s so it’s got come out of Muamba’s pocket? Hope you tell him to shove it.

  5. A little far fetched – can’t see a pay cut

  6. Steve Borsa // February 14, 2018 at 4:31 pm //

    2018 Bonuses. Well another victim! What the F——k is happening? CBA better rein this in quickly. Now epidemic . OMG

  7. It’s not the CFL becoming more of a joke people, it’s idiots like JD making it seem that way. Think about it.

  8. Sounds like a typical “Popp” move!

  9. Blue rules // February 14, 2018 at 4:57 pm //

    Come back to the Bombers, we pay what you are owed. In like sliderball

    • Ridersnhabs // February 14, 2018 at 7:56 pm //

      Do the bombers have a higher salary cap than the rest of the CFL ? When you make a post here is a novel idea , have it make sense it’s so much more interesting for the reader

  10. LOL $220k for Muamba? between this, signing Hurl and Messam its beginning to look like whatever Brendan Taman had is contagious. There is something bad in Regina’s drinking water.

  11. I don’t know. Keep in mind that Derek Dennis was released because he was being paid too much. Jones admitted that the Riders are up against it on the cap. Yes, they let some players go to save some cap space but they also spent some money yesterday in free agency. Messam, Evans and Bond cost some serious coin and Charleston Hughes didn’t come cheap. You can’t cut a rookie to pay their salaries. Last year’s pickups seem to be this year’s casualties. It seems to be a vicious circle in Riderville.

    • Teams have additions and subtractions every year. This one was definitely a surprise, but I’m guessing it was a surprise to the Riders too. As I said in another thread, Muamba has played well but not $220k well, so he should have taken the haircut. What this tells me is that he doesn’t really want to be here, and if that’s the case then we’re probably better off without him. I think he has a pregnant wife in Toronto, so maybe he wants to sign there.

  12. I am guessing the cut was agreed to of they would not sign messam.

  13. Of course Sask over spends in FA. now have to get other to take the cut to pay for them or release to get the money

  14. Ouch, Hurl signing would make more sense if true, but Hurl is no Muamba either. Be careful Jones, we are short of Canadian starters.

    • greenenvy? // February 14, 2018 at 5:50 pm //

      Jones said he was at the CAP going into free agency. With Bond, Evans, Messam, the big Hughes salary etc.. he has to dump salary. He’s not the only one but that’s the way it goes. Could he cut Muamba? If not, he’s gotta cut somebody. Would be a big mistake but you gotta pay the piper. For the life of me, I don’t understand the Messam signing, especially if you’re having CAP issues. Messam was worst RB in the CFL when it came to catching the ball & only 1 in the top 10 under 5 yds/carry with a good Stamps OL.

      • I’m guessing that we picked up Messam in part because it looked like Muamba wasn’t going to take the pay cut. Messam gives us another Canadian starter, so we can start an American at MLB now. I’d like to see us try Eguavoen at MLB and and a Canadian in his spot, however. Maybe it’s Francis’s time to step up, or Judge? Or that might even be a better spot for Hurl than MLB. We’ve got depth now so we have options.

        • I like your thoughts on Judge. He graded out real well. Only question is in a tweet fest rant late last year, he tweeted he had retired after taking some shots at the Riders too. It would be great to see if he can take this on. Hurl is not the answer!! Hoping this is the plan!

    • the roster as of right now is exactly 50-50 Canadian to American.. 31-31.. they will likely start two Canadian linebackers as there are 7 Canadians and 2 Americans.. and if you look there is a potential to have at least 8 starting Canadians with a possibility of more.. yes letting Henoc Muamba go is gonna sting a little, he plaid great last year.. but he wasnt 225000 dollars great..

      • TheDer’s // February 14, 2018 at 6:33 pm //

        I’m curious who you think could fill the role of Canadian LB. not sure hurl is the answer

        • If we go that way I’d move Eguavoen to MLB and them maybe start Francis outside, but if we start Messam then he’d be our extra Canadian and we could just find an American MLB.

          • Spencer Moore was resigned and plays similar position to Messam and also Canadian, also Morris is Canadian and don’t think anything’s happened with him one way or the other in FA.

  15. bad to the bone // February 14, 2018 at 5:27 pm //

    Back off boneheads. Where does it say anywhere that Henoc Muamba has not been paid his bonus? Where does it say Henoc Muamba has been released as not to have to pay his bonus due? No where you fricken turd brains. The Riders have already paid Henoc $35K in January.
    All they are asking Muamba is to rewrite the last year of his 3 year contract. Not unheard of now that we are in a 1 year contract frenzy. Start reading these articles before you comment. Especially you two toothed Bomber fans.

    • You can call everyone all kind of names but it doesn’t change the fact that Muamba has been released.

    • I guess us “boneheads” / “turd brains” were right after all but hurts worse qas being called a “Bomber fan”! Stay classy “bad to the bone”! LOL

    • Bad to the bone // February 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm //

      This post was on an early article that said Riders are asking Muamba to take a pay cut. Now they change the story and keep the same comments. That’s dirty pool 3 Down. f

  16. Muamba has been released.

  17. Back to Montreal

  18. They paid Collaros too much and now this..

  19. likeitlikethat // February 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm //

    ridicoulous is the cfl the only league that does this kind of crap we could be in for a strike when the when the CBA is up it’s time the players stand up to these teams and get guaranteed contracts then general managers will have to be careful signing big contracts then your stuck with it.

  20. A classes move by the Riders and there Head Coach Chris Jones if you were going to Cut A veteran you do it the right way.Not wait until a good chunk of free agent available money has been spent now limiting Muamba”s chance at receiving his market value,thats how the Riders operate.I hope Players around the League take note.The stamps did not wait to cut Mcdaniel or the Esks with Bowman but this is how Chris Jones treats a Vet who played hard for him last year.I hope the saying “What goes around comes around” rings true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • How many handles is this now donk a donk…..16/17 ??

    • LMFAO ‘“the stamps did not wait to cut McDaniel”????pretty sure thatdecision was made (the right one) as soon as he opened his fat mouth in blaming a teammate after their GC loss and likely ANY team in the same position would’ve done the same.

  21. One would think Chad Owens is next.

  22. Paul Bomber // February 14, 2018 at 6:46 pm //

    I see the children are chirping above, so skipping that, I’ll just say I’d love to see Henoc back in Blue and Gold. I’d maybe even get sucked in again. With Westerman gone, replacing professional pylon Sam Hurl with another Canuck is important.

  23. Former Rider fan // February 14, 2018 at 6:53 pm //

    Remember when coaches abused the challenge rule and Ambrosie had to change it mid-season?
    Now management is abusing the players entitled to bonuses.
    Bonuses will be guaranteed in the next CBA or there will be a strike, and management brought all on with their shameful tactics.

    • Former Calgary fan // February 14, 2018 at 7:37 pm //

      Dosent everyone remember the Commissioners office announcing to all the teams that they should not pay any upfront contract money this year. Because of what the players union was up to?
      It looks like 75% of the teams have done exactly that.
      We don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. I can assure you that 1 year contracts and up front guaranteed money is paid. Let’s all watch and see over the next 1.5 years.

      • Calgary fan – The league asked management not to pay offseason bonuses NEXT year in 2019 just before the contract is due to be re-negotiated – NOT this year.
        This move is typical of teams that want to get “name players” and overpay to get them to sign. Good player certainly deserve to be paid but not overpaid according to their position. Heard that Mitchell and Campbell were both offered significantly more to by Montreal than any other team offered but when the larks are up against the cap and the crunch comes it may well come back to bite these higher paid players. Take a pay cut or be released!

  24. Getting kind of sick about the gripping on here about the CFL not upholding their side of contracts. It is the teams right to cut (depending on games already played and years in the league) at any time. Just like the NFL. Maybe you feel this isn’t fair but the CFLPA has negotiated this in their COLlECTIVE agreement. Economics in the CFL do not give teams the luxury of of being magnanimous
    The product would suffer greatly. I’m sure the NFL could however. In addition someone has previously on this site explained that these so called option year “bonuses “ are not for the season already completed but should be considered advances on the upcoming season. It’s been quite a while since their last paycheque

    • Good point Gryph. Important to keep in mind that the players often want a larger bonus as the tax treatment is better. Unfortunately, it is a double edged sword.

  25. Joneshigh? // February 14, 2018 at 7:03 pm //

    Muamba: “Hey coach. I noticed you just signed old man Messam for more money than he’s worth. Do you have enough for me?”
    Jones: “I think so…let me look. Oh wait a minute, guess I don’t. Little bit of a pay cut, Henoc?”
    Muamba: “Nice Math skills coach. See ya”

    • Joneshigh – lol, now we know who DC was carting the ounce of weed for.

    • Sorry Your Wrong // February 14, 2018 at 8:30 pm //

      More money than he’s worth? He signed for what LaFrance was due to make. Muamba wasn’t cut because Messam was signed, he was cut because Jones didn’t he was worth the $220K due had be played a full year. It’s not the salary in February you worry about, it’s the salary in November. Because of the ratio, for $100K less, Messam has more value than Muamba does.

      • So if Jones didn’t think Muamba was worth what he was paying him (in spite of HM having a great season in 2017) WHY did he offer him north of 200k when he signed him last year?

        • Jeff Garcia's Agent // February 15, 2018 at 9:24 am //

          Two years ago, he signed near the end of the 2016 season. And obviously to land him as a free agent, when the roster took entirely different as well. Duh!

  26. Blue rules // February 14, 2018 at 7:09 pm //

    Welcome to sliderville, we offer you the world then CUT your throat at our convenience. No wonder Bowman & Demski didn’t want to be in skanksville. What a pathetic organization. I vote we sell Saskatchewan to the USA for a draft pick, S***holl Provence

    • Paul Bomber // February 14, 2018 at 7:17 pm //

      I fear your feedback, while creative, will not going to encourage thoughtful dialogue and civil discourse.

    • Ridersnhabs // February 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm //

      Wow what’s next with you , seems like your prepared to go postal I hope the rcmp keeps tabs on you. Your one sick person

    • Rather Be In Hell // February 14, 2018 at 8:40 pm //

      Says the guy from the land of floods, mosquitoes and missing women.

      At least we know how to spell Province and have the ability to form better puns than “sliderville”.

  27. Alex Droho // February 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm //

    Why do players sign contracts with these bonuses? When they do they are, in effect, signing off on their release.

    • Jeff Garcia's Agent // February 15, 2018 at 9:28 am //

      He got $35,000 last month for doing nothing. Odds are his new deal is close to what he would’ve made with the Riders when you factor in that extra cash. There are also tax advantages to offseason bonuses, especially for American players.

  28. bigplay – I don’t like this move at all but it is Muamba’s agent that would have had the bonus due two days after FA starts. Direct your comments at him. As it is Muamba got $35k from the Riders for SFA. Nice move henoc. Maybe someone at the Riders needs to take an introductory accounting class. Do they offer those at hillbilly U or wherever Jones is from?

  29. fannotacoach // February 14, 2018 at 7:41 pm //

    Not only will his next team get an excellent player but their community will appreciate the off field work of this man. Sorry to see him leave the Riders. Good luck to him.

  30. Little Blue Peeps worst Nightmare. // February 14, 2018 at 7:50 pm //

    Just watch Blue Rules how you team get your ass kicked on the field of play by the Riders this season. You go ahead and keep building bomberland off of Rider cast offs. At least when Dressler and Smith were coned to sign there. Smith soon retired and Dressler sits on the IR getting paid. Worn out DD is going to be your starter much sooner than anticipated. after Charlton Hugh’s, Zack Evans and William Jefferson hunt down and sandwich, pile drive and smoke Nicholson into next week. Your going to wish you saved your earlier hatred to hate even more.
    That’s ok, don’t hate the players. Hate the game.

  31. Portage and Main. Telling it how it is // February 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm //

    Henoc will be just fine. Both he and his Agent know that he’s not Worth $225K Hell even Messam in his prime a couple years ago was paid $220 and he was outstanding Canadian, 1100 yards in rushing and a whole pile of TDS. Henoc was treated well in the 1st 2 years of his contract. The last year is always a renogotiation due to unrealistic demands by the players agents.
    Bomber fans are much too stupid to know that. I’m sure it’s not their fault though. They haven’t won a Grey Cup in 28 years. How are they suppose to know what goes on with championship teams. Let them be angry. Let them visit rival stadiums and spit on rival players. Poor beer over 12 year old innocent Winnipeg kids who accidentally wear green when the Riders are in town. Or try and maim the Rivals mascot in his own park on a drive by. You can’t teach stupidity anything. So don’t be upset at those buck toothed goofballs. Their all bark, no bight.

    • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm //

      Ohh this post just oozes class doesnt it? A serious question though, do you know how to get your point across without hurling insults at others? If you’d like to have a civilized debate or voice your displeasure for a fan base that’s fine but you’ll be taken more seriously if you can articulate your points calmly and in an civilized manner. I’m not the comment police but the childish behaviour displayed on here by some fans of ALL teams is rather disappointing

      • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 8:36 pm //

        And before I get accused of being “triggered” or a “snowflake” I’ll just state that I really.dont care what insults people hurl at me, I just know this place devolves very quickly to insults and name calling…we’re Canadians and CFL fans… we’re better than that! (Even the Rider fans 😉 lol)

  32. Maumba had his best years in Winnipeg before giving the NFL a shot. As a ratio breaker I see him going back to Winnipeg or Montreal his hometown. Hopefully he will restart things and play like he did for the Bombers.

  33. He got a bonus in Jan. He’ll be just fine guys for those saying riders jobbed him

  34. This isn’t just Saskatchewan , but it’s a whole league issue. Ok 8

  35. Jones did this last year too, signed a bunch of high prices players went way over the cap , then turns and releases players to cover the new players do coming in , and waits to do it after the big surge of signings , really low .and get there I’ll be a couple more releases coming . You should only he allowed to sign players if you have that cap space available at that signing.

  36. Ardent Lions fan here. Seems to me that Jones really wanted Muamba and tried to work something out. Jones is trying to improve his team and sometimes that involves cutting players to attract others or sign players for other areas. All GM’s do it. Sask is only doing what other teams do. It’s not like Jones didn’t offer him a contract at all. Seems smart to me. Dynamic means evolving, Sask is moving forward. Give it a rest. Riders will be just fine without him if he doesn’t come around.

    • Good post Leon…totally agree. All teams are trying to get better and there’s a lot of player movement. I love the CFL but I must be loving the “old” days when fans got to know some of the players and some players even played their entire careers in one city and became legends. Good luck to all.

  37. Tinhead 296 // February 14, 2018 at 9:27 pm //

    Not surprised to hear all this garbage from bomber fans who poor beer on kids, spit on players at Mosaic, and brag about how good they are. Worst fans in the league.
    But what would we expect from a bunch of low intelligence ugly one-tooth fat beer bellied red necked slobs. They give the whole cfl nothing but a black eye. Best view of Winnipeg is in your rear view mirror.18

    • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm //

      So do you just create different names on this site to make multiple posts? This is the 3rd or 4th that is basically the same thing. Do you have anything relevant to add to the discussion based on the topic or do you just like hearing the sound of your keyboard when you spout off?

  38. Little Blue peep // February 14, 2018 at 9:49 pm //

    I wrote one of those not so nice reply’s to Blue Rules. The other 2 had nothing to do with me. Then again if you look Chris Blue rules wrote several disparaging comments through the thread.
    One guy did repeat some of what I said. Listen most are not going to sit back and let one guy ramble on and on about the Province you live in.

    • BlueBomberChris // February 14, 2018 at 10:26 pm //

      Exactly, that’s why I’ve referenced in past posts that ALL teams fans need to show a little more decorum here. I totally get your second point too which is why I wasn’t going to stand back and have my province insulted because of a few idiots. I’ve met a small sample of Rider fans that are idiots too. But I’ve also met MANY more good ones which makes the rivalry fun. Its just when both sides start throwing insults just for the sake of insulting that gets tiresome

      • fannotacoach // February 15, 2018 at 12:42 am //

        I hear you! It gets tiresome trying to sift through some of this crap looking for a bone of decent football exchange. Some of the people on here definitely know more about the game than I do and I enjoy reading some of what they say. It’s unfortunate that brand loyalty and/or a different point of view results in ignorant insults. It’s OK to agree to disagree folks! And keep in mind we are fans, not owners, coaches or GM’s and decisions by them should not reflect negatively on a fan or vice versa for that matter.

  39. henoc should with the redblackd

  40. Pennyrocker // February 15, 2018 at 1:07 am //

    Jones figures he can start rookies on defense as he did the first year coaching the Riders. Three good linebackers have gone Knox Foster and Mumba. When the self centered tyrant going to learn you need experience and players that play well together to make a great team. I also see he offer looks a lot of talented nationals.

  41. Familiar CFL pattern. Sign a contract with the player for the off season bonus and cut him so it’s not collected. Shades of signing contracts with a large dose of bad faith.

    Now some like Durant would have been foolish to pay but players should simply sign these contracts knowing it’s likely a bad debt.

    Too bad the CRA didn’t let them create a corporation where they could write this off as a bad debt.

  42. Gobluebruin // February 20, 2018 at 5:00 am //

    Too bad for the Riders, E. Muamba is tough, aggressive and he can hit. Don’t know much about Hurl.

  43. Familiar CFL pattern. Sign a contract with the player for the off season bonus and cut him so it’s not collected. Shades of signing contracts with a large dose of bad faith.

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