Craig Dickenson on Riders’ OL Dan Clark: ‘You don’t want to move on from someone until you feel like you’ve got somebody better’

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have respectfully let longtime offensive lineman Dan Clark know the team is actively looking for his potential replacement.

The 34-year-old native of Regina is a pending free agent who has not yet had his contract renewed with the green and white.

“I said this a lot when it came to the quarterbacks, I’ll say it with Dan: you don’t want to move on from someone until you feel like you’ve got somebody better. Dan still is a good-quality football player and a guy that still can contribute,” head coach Craig Dickenson told 620 CKRM radio in Regina.

“We’ve talked to Dan and we’ve told him we’re going to look around a little bit and see what’s out there. But we’re never going to close the door on a guy like Dan — he’s a Roughrider for life. Whether he’s on the team or in the stands or coaching or being an ambassador, he’s always going to be associated with the Roughriders.”

The six-foot-two, 310-pound lineman has played in 131 games with his hometown Riders over an 11-year career spanning ten seasons. He was named a CFL all-star at centre in 2019 when Saskatchewan posted a league-best 13-5 regular season record.

“Our priority this offseason is to get better up front, no doubt. There’s a couple real attractive names and we’ve reached out to them,” Dickenson said about the offensive linemen who could be free to sign on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Canadian offensive linemen Michael Couture, Darius Ciraco, and Justin Lawrence could be names the Riders are interested in as Clark waits to hear about his playing future with the team.

The Riders struggled along the offensive line in 2022, allowing a league-worst 77 sacks. Clark missed 12 games after suffering a broken leg in the second week of the season but was able to return for the final month of the regular season.