Riders draft pick Dakoda Shepley back home in Ontario after five day window expires

Canadian offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley has returned to Ontario after his five-day stint with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The fifth overall pick in the 2018 CFL Draft, Shepley practised, worked out, watched film and spent the week learning the Riders offensive scheme. It was a chance to see how the team operates while keeping NFL options available.

A provision in the CFL’s collective bargaining agreement allows a drafted player who reports to his team after the conclusion of training camp five days before the club needs to account for him on the roster. The window is designed to allow teams to assess the player prior to potentially adding him to the active roster, practice squad or terminating his draft rights. When the time period has elapsed, a minimum contract offer has to be made in order to retain the player’s rights.

All of those requirements were followed by the Riders.

The Riders chose Shepley in the first round knowing he had signed an undrafted NFL free agent contract with the New York Jets. The 23-year-old was released by the Jets at the end of a strong training camp and he’s been a free agent ever since, biding his time for another potential NFL opportunity.

Shepley will not sign with the Riders for the 2018 season, instead, train at Barwis Methods just across the border from his hometown of Windsor. Signing an NFL futures deal seems likely for the ultra-athletic offensive lineman, though the CFL remains available for Shepley.


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Can’t thank @camdillard54 enough for the spot and extra special thank you goes out to @camdillard54 for being such a great guy and friend! Thanks Cam!

A post shared by Dakoda Shepley (@officialkoda) on

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