Toronto Argos release star defensive end Charleston Hughes

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts have released defensive lineman Charleston Hughes.

Hughes signed a two-year contract with the Argos in February, which had one year left on it for the 2022 season worth $145,000 in hard money. He played nine games with the double blue, recording 18 tackles and two sacks during the shortened 14-game regular season in 2021.

The 38-year-old led the CFL with 16 sacks during the 2019 season, adding 50 tackles, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown in 17 games. Hughes was scheduled to earn $157,500 in 2020, however, he only received $10,000 due to the CFL season being cancelled.

The six-foot-one, 246-pound pass rusher has led the CFL in sacks five times in his career: 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The two-time Grey Cup champion had spent his entire career in Calgary until he was dealt to Hamilton and then to Saskatchewan. Hughes was acquired in February 2018 when the Riders sent quarterback Vernon Adams to the Ticats.

Hughes has played 190 career CFL games, recording 475 tackles, 132 sacks, 30 forced fumbles, three interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.

Toronto made the six-foot-one, 246-pound Hughes a healthy scratch multiple times last season.