The Saskatchewan Roughriders made it official Sunday releasing veteran Canadian receiver Rob Bagg.
Bagg was “surprised and disappointed” “It’s pretty much as expected is how I feel,’’ Bagg said when contacted by Murray McCormick of the Regina Leader-Post. “I really didn’t see it coming.’’
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.
“Everybody’s day is coming,’’ Bagg said. “I guess that’s the way it goes because most people don’t see the day coming for them. I was just caught off guard, but that’s just the business.’’
Bagg was the longest-serving Rider and a fan favourite who battled back repeatedly from injury. He went unselected in the 2007 CFL Draft, but made the team out of training camp and elected to go back to school. Then came back a year later and made it again.
“I haven’t anything but good things to say about everyone in Saskatchewan and the whole organization, but it’s just disappointing,’’ Bagg said. “I feel some things, but I would rather not say them.’’
“That was a real tough one. Rob Bagg has been a good player here for a long time. Certainly has been a loyal player for us during our tenor. It’s a young man’s game unfortunately. We had a couple of young guys that performed really well over the course of the entire camp. It was cumulative that went over the course of camp,” head coach and general manager Chris Jones said.
“Rob and I are close. He’s a tremendously loyal guy. We wish Rob nothing but the best. I’m sure it was a shock to him.”
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.
“It’s a combination of both [cap and roster]. You’re making decisions based for the entire good of the organization,” Jones said.
The Riders have some younger national options including Devon Bailey and Josh Stanford.
“Our two young Canadians played very well all camp and performed well in both games,” Jones said. “Bailey had the No. 1 catch percentage of everybody across the board of all of our receivers. Stanford had a tremendous game over in Edmonton running after the catch.”