Argos release veteran defensive backs Jeff Richards and Crezdon Butler

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Toronto Argonauts have released American defensive backs Jeff Richards and Crezdon Butler.

Richards started 13 games at field-side halfback last season while Butler started 13 games at safety. Both players were in the starting lineup in Toronto’s loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2021 East Final at BMO Field.

Richards joined the Argos in 2020 following a two-year stint with the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 31-year-old made 42 defensive tackles, four special teams tackles, and one interception last season in Toronto. He signed his first CFL contract with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2015 and dressed for 13 games over two seasons with the team.

Butler first came to the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017 following a seven-year career in the NFL. The 34-year-old has made 130 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles over 51 career games as a member of the Riders, B.C. Lions, and Argos.

The Argos signed defensive back DaShaun Amos in free agency, who spent this past season with the Calgary Stampeders at boundary cornerback and boundary halfback. The club also has a new defensive coordinator in Corey Mace, who was brought over from Calgary as well.