Lemon dropped: B.C. Lions release veteran pass rusher Shawn Lemon, one other

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The B.C. Lions have released a pair of CFL veterans midway through training camp, parting ways with American defensive end Shawn Lemon and Canadian linebacker Jordan Herdman-Reed.

Lemon was signed by the team in free agency after spending the past two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, producing a career year in 2022.  The 11-year veteran recorded a personal best 29 defensive tackles and 14 quarterback sacks to go along with five forced fumbles, earning a CFL All-Star selection and the West Division nomination for Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The 34-year-old edge rusher was on his third stint with the Lions, originally arriving in Vancouver in July of 2018 after a trade with the Toronto Argonauts. He produced 16 defensive tackles and ten sacks in 13 regular-season games, helping revive the team’s pass rush.

Lemon rejoined the Argos in free agency that offseason but was traded to the Lions for a second time in August of 2019. He went on to lead the team with eight sacks, adding 19 defensive tackles and three forced fumbles in ten games.

The Akron product has appeared in 135 regular-season CFL contests with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Edmonton Elks, Ottawa Redblacks, Stampeders, Argonauts and Lions, winning two Grey Cups. He has registered 221 defensive tackles, 29 forced fumbles, one interception and 92 sacks in his career — trailing only Charleston Hughes amongst active players last season.

Herdman-Reed returned to B.C. this offseason following a two-year stint with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, where he recorded one defensive tackle and six special teams tackles in 17 games.

The six-foot, 235-pound defender was selected by the Lions in the seventh round of the 2017 CFL Draft out of Simon Fraser. He played 52 regular games over three seasons with the team, recording 95 defensive tackles, 44 special teams tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble.

The 28-year-old played at Simon Fraser University over four seasons (2013-16) and was twice named the Great Northwest Conference (GNAC) Defensive Player of the Year, recording 226 total tackles, five knockdowns, three forced fumbles, and an interception in 25 games. He was also the first player in program history to earn an invite to the Senior Bowl.

The moves come on the heels of the team signing Canadian defensive end Jonathan Kongbo after a stint with the NFL’s Denver Broncos.