Chick rips Riders for how release was handled

Ticat defensive end John Chick had some choice – if soft spoken – words for the Saskatchewan Roughriders regime that released him last winter.

The 33-year-old Chick played six seasons with the Riders in two different stints with the club after originally joining the team in 2007 and winning two Grey Cups with the club. But he was let go – along with veteran receiver Weston Dressler – shortly after new general manager and head coach Chris Jones took over after leaving the Edmonton Eskimos in what was widely seen a salary cap move.

“It didn’t go down the way I would have written it and it definitely wasn’t cordially done. I don’t agree with the way things were handled,” Chick said Friday, one day before playing his old club for the first time. “One of these days, somebody is going to say I’ve had enough. I may not agree with them but there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle things.”

Chick pointed to the troubles in Saskatchewan since Jones took over. The team has been fined for violating the league’s ratio rules and for using ineligible players at practice. After last week’s loss to Calgary, Jones was involved in a post-game spat with Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson.

“It’s not just the one case. There were a lot of things. You can tell the circus that’s been going on in Riderville this year,” Chick said. “I don’t think that most people would agree with most of the things that are going on. The Rider fans are going to defend their team, absolutely. But we’ve seen several things over the last several weeks that I think given… yeah, maybe I should bite my tongue a little bit more.”

Chick said he’s maintained contact with quarterback Darian Durant and is looking forward to playing against him for the first time on Saturday.

“We’ve had a great friendship, a competitive friendship, on and off the field for a number of years,” Chick said. “But I was never allowed to hit the guy in practice. Who doesn’t want to hit a quarterback?”

Chick is a father of seven children and had been eyeing a post-football life in Regina, opening a Cross-Fit gym last winter. All that changed when he was unexpectedly released. Still, he says he’s happy with how things worked out.

“That’s in the past. I couldn’t be any more blessed to be where I am right now,” Chick said. “I’m looking forward to going out and sharing those emotions tomorrow.”

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