Winnipeg Blue Bombers release veteran receiver Jalen Saunders

Photo courtesy: Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have released receiver Jalen Saunders.

Saunders signed with the Bombers in April and was expected to be one of the players in the mix to replace Kenny Lawler, who left Winnipeg to sign a lucrative contract in Edmonton in free agency.

Saunders signed with the Ottawa Redblacks ahead of the cancelled 2020 season and re-signed with the team prior to the 2021 season but never played a down for the club after a horrific car accident last May kept him off the field.

Saunders burst onto the CFL scene with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017, finishing the season as one of three Ticats receivers to go over 1,000 receiving yards. Saunders was well on his way to superstardom in 2018 before a knee injury ended his sophomore campaign on Labour Day.

In 25 games with Hamilton, Saunders caught 121 passes for 1,909 yards and six touchdowns. The Ticats re-signed Saunders ahead of the 2019 season as he was rehabbing from his injury but released him prior to the start of the season.

The Stockton, California native was a fourth-round pick of the New York Jets in the 2014 NFL Draft after a prolific collegiate career at Fresno State University and the University of Oklahoma. Saunders played in 48 games over his college career with the Bulldogs and Sooners, hauling in 203 passes for 3,085 yards and 26 touchdowns.