Tiger-Cats cut loose Amerson

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats released veteran slotback Archie Amerson on Wednesday

Fan favourite Archie Amerson won't be making a comeback this summer with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The speedy slotback, who missed all of the 2005 Canadian Football League season with nerve damage in his left knee, was released on Wednesday.

Amerson, who had an option in his contract for 2006, was a go-to guy for most of his eight years with the Tiger-Cats.

The 31-year-old finished third on the Ticats with 894 receiving yards on 47 catches in 2004, missing the final four games of the season with a torn knee ligament that required arthroscopic surgery.

Amerson led Hamilton in receiving yardage in 2003 (960) and 2002 (984).

He attracted attention in his rookie CFL season of 1997, hauling in 40 passes for 414 yards and one touchdown. Amerson also rushed for 630 yards and four touchdowns.

The five-foot-eight-inch, 175-pounder was nominated for league rookie of the year honours, eventually bowing to Toronto's Derrell (Mookie) Mitchell.

Amerson went on to win a Grey Cup with Hamilton in 1999 and enjoyed his best season in 2000 with a career-high 1,198 reception yards.

He also finished with 2,513 combined yards that year, good for second in the CFL.

In his pro career, Amerson has caught 436 passes for 6,298 yards and 37 touchdowns in 123 games. He has totalled 1,654 rushing yards on 356 carries for a 4.6-yard average.

In other Ticats news, wideout Talman Gardner was signed Wednesday to a one-year contract with an option for 2007.

The 25-year-old spent the past three seasons in the National Football League. He dressed for 21 games with the New Orleans Saints - his hometown - but saw little action, catching four passes.

"Talman is a player I have watched since he played collegiately at Florida State and then during his years with the Saints," Tiger-Cats director of player personnel Craig Smith said in a statement.

"With his size and speed, Talman has the chance to step in and be a contributor for us right away."

The six-foot-one, 205-pound receiver was a two-year starter in college at Florida State, where he caught 90 passes for 1,595 yards and a 17.7 reception average, while also handling some kickoff returns.