Riders sign two NFLers, receiver Demarcus Ayers and defensive lineman Pete Robertson

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed former NFLers, receiver Demarcus Ayers and defensive lineman Pete Robertson. 

The five-foot-10, 190-pound Ayers joins the Riders after three seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ayers was selected in the seventh round, 229th overall of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Steelers and went on to play four games with Pittsburgh — two in the regular season and two in the post-season. Ayers caught his first professional touchdown on January 1, 2017 helping lift the Steelers over the Cleveland Browns 27-24.

He ended that season with 80 yards receiving on nine receptions and one touchdown. He’s played in 12 NFL pre-season games and spent a part of 2019 with the now-defunct Alliance of American Football’s San Antonio Commanders. 

The 25-year-old Ayers was a decorated NCAA athlete at the University of Houston where he played three seasons at receiver while being utilized as a kick returner. In his junior year, the Texas native was named to Phil Steele’s American Athletic Conference first team as both a punt returner and receiver. Ayers was selected to the AAC first team as a receiver and return specialist and was on the Biletnikoff Award watch list for his 1,222-yard, six touchdown season as a pass catcher as well as for his efforts as punt returner where he returned 28 punts for 290 yards and a touchdown.

The versatile Ayers also threw a 20-yard touchdown that season. As a freshman in 2013, he was named the AAC’s Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the conference with an average 27.6 yards per kick return for a total of 1,021 yards and a touchdown – a university freshman record – and had five games with at least 100 kick return yards.

The six-foot-two, 243-pound Robertson inks a deal with the Riders after spending time with the Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks over the last three seasons playing in 16 pre-season games – where he made 4.5 sacks – and six regular season games, making four career tackles.

Robertson spent five seasons at Texas Tech University in the NCAA where he played in 40 games, made 227 tackles, 22 sacks, 39.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, one touchdown, eight pass knockdowns, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. As a senior, he led the team in tackles for a loss (13.5 tackles for 40 yards), sacks (five) and quarterback hurries (three).

Robertson arguably had his best season as a junior where he was named All-Big 12 second team and Associated Press All-Big 12 first team. He started in all 12 games that year making 81 tackles, 13 sacks, 15.5 tackles for a loss, seven quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery. By the end of the 2014 season he led the team in tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, quarterback hurries and forced fumbles, leaving him sixth in the country in sacks and first in the Big 12 Conference.

Additionally, Robertson became the first Red Raider in the Big 12 era with a sack in six consecutive games.