Roughriders plan not to re-sign local punter Jon Ryan: report

Photo courtesy: Hannah Souster

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have chosen not to re-sign local legend Jon Ryan, according to local radio man Michael Ball.

The 40-year-old joined his hometown team in 2019 following a 13-year career in the NFL. He punted 169 times for 6,090 net yards (36.0 per punt) over two seasons with the Riders (2019, 2021) and was named a West Division all-star in 2019.

General manager Jeremy O’Day spoke to the media on Wednesday. He did not specifically address the status of Ryan but confirmed that the team has notified some players who will not be offered contracts for next season.

“Every year, the team is going to be different,” said O’Day via videoconference. “It’s not always going to be the same and there’s going to be some changes. There’s going to be some adjustments to the team.”

Ryan suffered a small fracture in his ankle late in the 2021 regular season, causing him to miss the final four games. Norwegian-born Kaare Vedvik, a second-round pick in the 2021 CFL Global Draft, took over the role and performed well, punting 28 times for a net average of 37.8 yards per punt. Vedvik remains under contract for the 2022 season.

Vedvik remains under contract for 2022, while Ryan is set to become a free agent on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers originally selected Ryan in the third round, 24th overall, in the 2004 CFL Draft. Ryan handled the punting duties for two seasons, leading the league with a 50.6-yard average in 2005. NFL teams took notice of Ryan’s strong leg and the Green Bay Packers signed him to a contract.

Ryan spent two seasons with the Packers before moving on to Seattle where he spent ten seasons punting for the Seahawks. He won a Super Bowl with the team in 2014, becoming the first person from Saskatchewan to win an NFL title. He punted 914 times down south for 40,895 yards and a 44.7-yard average with 311 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Ball is interviewing Ryan about Saskatchewan’s decision not to re-sign him on Wednesday afternoon on CKRM radio in Regina.