Duron Carter has been released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. When that news broke it took CFL fans by surprise. Not that the team and the player could part ways – this has happened with Carter before. He was released before the end of the season by the Montreal Alouettes in 2016 despite having played in 14 games and catching 61 passes for 938 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Rather the surprise was how this seemingly came without warning. Carter is only a year removed from being the Roughrider’s MOP, as during the 2017 season, he led the Riders with 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns (including one on defence).
His numbers this year have dropped off significantly as he has made eight receptions for 111 yards in seven games. However he has also played at DB recording 13 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown plus one knockdown prior to Saskatchewan cutting him at the weekend.
Of course on field production isn’t everything. Carter has also had some issues. In October of 2017, he got into a fight with a practice-roster player and during the off-season was twice charged with marijuana possession.
Issues aside Carter is a gifted player and plenty of teams will think he could provide them with a spark they need. He is apparently already meeting with the Alouettes, and rumour has it Hamilton, Toronto and B.C. may be interested too. He clearly has options to consider.
Also of interest is where the Riders go from here. They have decided to move on with HC Chris Jones stating to cfl.ca that they are making constant roster evaluations and “we made the decision that we were going to go in a different direction from Duron.” https://www.cfl.ca/2018/08/12/jones-decided-go-different-direction-duron/
That’s pretty much a non-answer really for those fans who want to know why he’s been let go. Arguably Jones’ refusal to provide details on why they decided Carter should be released will likely contribute to a great deal of speculation. Especially as during his brief tenure in Saskatchewan he has been one of the team’s more popular players, regularly interacting with the fans.
Saskatchewan have struggled in the passing game in 2018 too so either this is a curious move the true cause of which we will probably never know, or as Rider fans are surely hoping, they have a contingency plan in place.
It is going to be interesting to see it all unfold for both the player and the team. As ever the best place to see what effect any of this will have is on the field and we can look forward to seeing any impacts this has in the next week of CFL action.
Image from cfl.ca