Wilder Jr. gives props to Lions, Riders for allowing players pursue NFL

Running back James Wilder Jr., who said last week he won’t be returning to the Argos because of concerns over pay and an inability to pursue NFL opportunities, gave a shout out to the B.C. Lions and the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Twitter after those clubs each released a player so they could pursue a contract down south.



B.C. released linebacker Micah Awe, who had two years left on his first CFL contract, to sign with the New York Jets. Saskatchewan let pending free agent Jeff Knox Jr. free to ink a deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Wilder Jr. released a statement saying he would sit out the 2018 CFL season after he received interest from “several” NFL teams, but the Argos won’t allow the 25-year-old to pursue the opportunities.

“I’ve been getting phone calls to my agent from NFL teams with interest, wondering if I’m available. I signed a contract for one-year with an option and I have multiple NFL teams wanting me,” Wilder said.

The Florida State product had a verbal agreement with the Argos that if the NFL came calling he could check it out.

“Nothing signed in the contract, all in talk. The exact words were, “of course we will always want to do what’s best for you.” I talked with coach [Marc] Trestman, he is willing to help me.”

It remains to be seen whether or not the Argos will give Wilder Jr. the chance to seek out his NFL dreams.