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Wes Cates has a Grey Cup ring from the Riders' 2007 trip to the CFL championship. (Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will not be offering star running back Wes Cates a new contract, the CFL team has announced.

Cates, who has the second most touchdowns in Rider history behind George Reed, was set to become a free agent on Feb. 15 when his current contract expired.

"Wes is a pro, he's a really good guy," Riders general manager Brendan Taman said. "If it was based on personality, we wouldn't be talking about this, but we felt it was time for a change."

Cates, who started his CFL career with the Calgary Stampeders before being traded to the Riders in 2007, has racked up 4,942 yards over six years with the two teams. He was also part of the 2007 Riders that won the Grey Cup.

But his age (32), money and his recent on-field production were among the factors that went into the decision not to offer him a contract, Taman said.

"Wes is still a good football player," Taman said. "If and when somebody needs a back, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets that chance."

Mark Parenteau and James Robinson have also been released, the team said Friday.

As well, the team announced it has signed three new import running backs: Kory Sheets, Louis Rankin and Demetrius Crawford.