Riders DL Cory Thomas, LB Deshaun Davis opt out to pursue NFL employment

Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman Cory Thomas and linebacker Deshaun Davis have opted out of their CFL contracts and are hopeful of NFL opportunities.

Both players signed standard rookie deals in 2020, which means one year plus an option and gives the Riders their CFL rights through the 2021 season.

Thomas played five NCAA seasons with Mississippi State University. Throughout his time as a Bulldog, he played in 39 games, starting six at defensive tackle and finished with 51 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble. The Alabama native was injured during the 2017 season, but came back in his senior year.

The 25-year-old Thomas went unselected in the 2019 NFL draft, however he signed with the Miami Dolphins, although only to be released at the end of training camp.

Davis was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round, 210th overall, of the 2019 NFL draft. He played in four pre-season games for the Bengals, recording 15 tackles, one sack and one pass deflectionDavis also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles practice squads during the 2019 season 

Before joining the NFL, Davis spent four collegiate seasons at Auburn University playing in 52 games for the Tigers. The Alabama native started in 40 games recording 266 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, eight sacks, six pass deflections and two forced fumbles. In his final year, Davis was named first team All-SEC and was invited to play in the Reese Senior Bowl.