Canadian LB Nakas Onyeka requested release from Argos; Saskatchewan ‘polar opposite’ from Toronto

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Canadian linebacker Nakas Onyeka requested to be set free by the Toronto Argonauts.

Less than one week later Onyeka signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. 3DownNation’s John Hodge first broke the news.

“I left on my own, I asked to be released for a few different reasons. I was never expecting to leave Toronto in three years, I thought it was somewhere I would call home for the foreseeable future,” Onyeka said on The Rod Pedersen Show.

“It is just a business. That’s something that I’ve learned is not to take things too personal, teams are just trying to do what’s best for them. I completely understand it, I completely respect it.”

The 25-year-old had a three-year stint with the Argos after being selected in the fifth round by the double blue in the 2017 CFL draft. He has recorded 44 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in 36 career games. Durig his time in Toronto, Onyeka experienced the lack of fan attendance at BMO Field firsthand.

“Being in Toronto specifically, they haven’t always got the support that a lot of teams out West get and there’s this little brother feel about the Argonauts,” Onyeka said.

“From being in Toronto and then playing road games in Sask is complete polar opposites, what the support is like in Regina. That’s one of the things I was looking for in what I’m calling my next home.”

Saskatchewan adds depth at the linebacker position by inking Onyeka to a one-year contract for the 2020 season. He joins Cameron Judge, Micah Teitz and Alexandre Chevrier as Canada linebackers on the Riders roster.

“Judge he’s a great player, I will have the pleasure of teaming up and playing with him. The biggest thing I’m going to be able to get out of Judge and Solly [Solomon Elimimian], specifically, is that whole competition feel and them driving me to be better and vice versa,” Onyeka said.

“They have a good group of guys whether it be Solly, [Ed] Gainey, Charleston [Hughes] who know all the ropes. I’m just trying to fit in where I can. There’s a lot of potential for team success there and I felt like it was the best opportunity for me to see personal success.”