Saskatchewan Roughriders release eight, including CFL Combine bench press champion Ryan Berta

Photo courtesy: Ian MacAlpine/Queen's Athletics

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have made eight cuts, including Canadian offensive lineman Ryan Berta.

The six-foot-three, 302-pound blocker won the bench press at the CFL Combine in Winnipeg with 30 reps of 225 pounds. The native of Hamilton, Ont. went unselected out of Queen’s University in the 2024 CFL Draft despite being named a second-team All-Canadian with the Golden Gaels this past season. He made 22 career collegiate starts at centre.

The Riders also released seven American players, including running back Jerrion Ealy, receivers Braydon Johnson and Kendall Watson, defensive lineman Roman Harrison, linebacker Mark McLaurin, and defensive backs Cole Coleman and Jamar Johnson.

Saskatchewan also placed American offensive lineman D’Mitri Emmanuel on the team’s suspended list.

The six-foot-two, 309-pound blocker finished his collegiate career at Florida State where he started 27 games. He was named first-team All-ACC in 2023 and earned fourth-team All-American honours from Phil Steele, building off a third-team All-ACC campaign in 2022.

Prior to transferring to Florida State, Emmanuel spent five seasons at the University of Northern Carolina at Charlotte. He started 24 games for the 49ers from 2019 to 2021, earning third-team All-Conference USA honours on two occasions.

CFL teams were required to shorten their rosters to 75 players plus non-counters as of Wednesday morning.