Duke of the Hammer: Ticats ink former Riders receiver Duke Williams

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have signed receiver Duke Williams.

The 29-year-old caught 29 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2022 but was limited to just eight games due to injury. He recently underwent offseason ankle surgery.

Williams failed to live up to the expectations of his $255,000 contract and became the centre of controversy. He was suspended one game for throwing his helmet at an opponent before the Touchdown Atlantic game, was accused of spitting, and was flagged for a personal foul while watching a game in street clothes.

A highly coveted NFL cut, Williams arrived in Regina at the end of the 2021 season and played in the final four games, recording 17 receptions for 285 yards and a touchdown, while recovering three onside kicks. He added nine catches for 163 yards and a major in the team’s two playoff games but faced allegations of spitting and eye-gouging from opponents.

Williams began his CFL career in Edmonton in 2017, catching 46 passes for 715 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. The Auburn product posted 88 receptions for a league-leading 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns the next year, landing him a contract with the Buffalo Bills. He spent three years in Western New York with the NFL team, recording 12 receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown.