Riders bring Rob Bagg back, Jones explains reason for pre-season release

After releasing Canadian receiver Rob Bagg in training camp, the Riders have brought him back to Saskatchewan.

“It’s been a couple weeks in the works, Rob and I spoke a couple weeks ago and he said that his ankle was back well and he’s completely healthy and would welcome an opportunity to come back,” head coach and general manager Chris Jones said.

“Rob Bagg’s been a good player, he brings some leadership qualities and depth at the Canadian receiver position. Anytime that we bring a veteran back we bring them back for a reason.”

Bagg was blindsided by being let go by the team before the regular season, but Jones explained there was a reason for it.

“The CFL rule clearly implicated us early in the year, they said that the six-game is not to put guys with three and four-week injuries, it was for six game-type injuries. And when the trainers said it wasn’t necessarily a six-week deal, I couldn’t risk a $25,000 fine, so ultimately that’s what it came down to,” Jones said.

“You have to release a guy that’s worked for you and that you feel loyal too, it’s tough.”

The 33-year-old had spent nine seasons with the Riders, playing in 139 games catching 364 passes for 4,705 yards and 24 touchdowns while recording 10 carries for 68 yards and three touchdowns. He was a key part of the 2013 Grey Cup championship squad in Saskatchewan. He played in 17 games last season making 35 catches for 339 yards and a touchdown.

“I did have some offers, some that I wasn’t able to take just right away because of my ankle and others that just didn’t seem like the right fit,” Bagg said.

Bagg is the longest-serving Rider and a fan favourite who battled back repeatedly from injury. He signed a contract extension in 2016 that ran through this season and the team has already paid him $35,000 in off-season money as part of the $135,000 he was due to make in 2018 with Saskatchewan.

Bagg went unselected in the 2007 CFL Draft.

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