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Weston Dressler leaves Roughriders to play in NFL

The Grey Cup-champion Saskatchewan Roughriders released Weston Dressler on Thursday, allowing the all-star slotback to sign an NFL deal immediately.

All-star slotback worked out for Chiefs earlier this month

Slotback Weston Dressler, whom the Roughriders released on Thursday, is expected to pursue a career in the NFL. He spent the past six seasons in Regina, having registered 442 catches for 6,531 yards and 43 touchdowns. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press/File)

The Grey Cup-champion Saskatchewan Roughriders released all-star slotback Weston Dressler on Thursday.

The move wasn't a surprise. Dressler, 28, was scheduled to become a free agent Feb. 15 and was exploring his NFL options.

This allows Dressler, who earlier this month worked out for the Kansas City Chiefs, to sign an NFL deal immediately.

At a media conference Thursday in Regina, Dressler said he has decided to sign with an NFL team, but — on instructions from the team — will not say which one it is.

There's a good opportunity for me out there and I want to make the most of it.- Weston Dressler

"There's a good opportunity for me out there and I want to make the most of it," Dressler said. "Ever since the first time I touched a football, that's something I dreamed about — having the opportunity to play in the NFL."

He said the decision was made in the last two days.

"Money wasn't a factor for me in this decision," he said. "It's a decision based on an opportunity [where] I feel like I have a very good chance to make a football team."

He said he did not know when an official announcement with his new team would be made, adding he needs to get a physical exam done before signing a contract.

Weston Dressler says he is poised to sign a contract with an NFL team. (CBC)

The five-foot-eight, 179-pound native of Bismarck, N.D., has spent the past six seasons in Regina, having registered 442 catches for 6,531 yards and 43 TDs.

He has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving plateau five times in his career, including the last four years.

Dressler had five catches for a game-high 81 yards and a touchdown in Saskatchewan's 45-23 Grey Cup victory over Hamilton.

Dressler is a two-time CFL all-star and was the league's top rookie in 2008.

Dressler said leaving the CFL, and the Riders, after having just won a Grey Cup, was the ideal end to his time in the league.

"Six years here, playing in front of these fans is a very special experience," Dressler said. "This fan-base really cares about the players here."

As a nod to Roughriders fans, Dressler said he requested jersey number 13 — to denote the 13th-man associated with fan support in the CFL.

"The friends that I made on this team will be friends forever," he said. "Everything about my experience here was more than I ever could have imagined. It's definitely a lot of different emotions going on right now."

With files from The Canadian Press

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