Making room: B.C. Lions release veteran Canadian DL David Menard, transfer DT Steven Richardson to retired list

Photo courtesy: Steven Chang/BC Lions

The B.C. Lions have released a trio of players ahead of training camp, including veteran Canadian defensive lineman David Menard.

The 33-year-old played all 18 games for the Lions in 2023 as part of a heavy Canadian defensive line rotation, recording 14 defensive tackles and three sacks. The move comes just one day after the team signed NFL veteran and local product Christian Covington to their roster.

Menard was a fourth-round pick, 32nd overall, by the Lions in the 2014 CFL Draft out of the Université de Montréal. He has played in 144 games over nine seasons in the league and has registered 101 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, 38 sacks, and six forced fumbles.

The native of Chicoutimi, Que. played one season for the Montreal Alouettes in 2021 and was voted as the East Division’s Most Outstanding Canadian after recording 18 tackles, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles in 14 games. He returned to the Lions the following year and posted career numbers, registering 17 defensive tackles, a team-leading nine sacks, and one forced fumble in 2023.

The Lions also released American defensive backs Lawrence Woods III and Parnell Motley, while transferring defensive tackle Steven Richardson to the retired list.

Photo: Nik Kowalski/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Richardson was re-signed by the team in November and was making a comeback from back-to-back Achilles tears. The 28-year-old played 21 games over two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, making 38 tackles, six sacks, and one forced fumble en route to back-to-back Grey Cup championships, but has been injured since B.C. brought him in as a free agent ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Woods was signed by the Lions in December after he was liberated from his practice roster contract with Hamilton. The Truman State product recorded 23 defensive tackles and 21 special teams tackles over 21 games with the Tiger-Cats over the course of the 2022 and 2023 seasons. He also returned 56 kickoffs for 1,267 yards and one touchdown.

Motley joined B.C.’s practice roster late last year after participating in training camp with the Toronto Argonauts and a brief stint with the Montreal Alouettes. He dressed for one game with the Calgary Stampeders in 2022, recording two defensive tackles.

The Lions will open their 2024 regular season on Sunday, June 9 when they visit the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field.