The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today international defensive end John Chick and international receiver Weston Dressler have been released by the team.
"Decisions like these are never easy but we felt it was necessary in order for us to move forward and better position ourselves as a football team," Chris Jones, the team's new general manager and coach, said in a news release issued Thursday.
According to the statement, contract terms were a stumbling block.
"We spoke with each player and their respective agents at length in an attempt to negotiate more cap-friendly contracts but unfortunately could not reach satisfactory agreements," he said.
"These [decisions] are very much tied to salary," Jones added during a teleconference call with reporters. He spoke from his home in Tennessee. "We took as long as we could ... and we had to exhaust every effort to see if we could ... trade them or try to get something for our team."
The team noted that Chick played six seasons with the Riders after originally joining the team in 2007. He also embarked on a three year NFL career, returning to Regina in 2013 where he spent the next three seasons.
Chick ranks fourth in Riders all-time quarterback sacks with 53. He is a two-time Grey Cup champion having won in 2007 and 2013.
Dressler joined the Riders in 2008 and went on to win the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie award. Through eight seasons, Dressler surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark five times. He sits third in Riders all-time receiving yards with 7,797 and fifth in all-time receiving touchdowns with 50. He won his first career Grey Cup in 2013.
"We want to thank John and Weston for all that they have done for the Roughriders and the province of Saskatchewan," added Jones. "We wish them both the best of luck."
Jones declined to speculate on the status of negotiations with other players, adding the release of Chick and Dressler was a "bad day" for the club.
"It was a necessary evil and I don't want to speculate on anything other than handling these today."