- Free Agency
REGINA — The Riders have gone out and addressed a need with the signing of veteran receiver Clarence Denmark, the team confirmed Friday.
Denmark was released by the Bombers back in March, while the Riders have been hit with two recent retirements in the receiving corps following the departure of Maurice Price and Jeremy Kelley.
The news was originally reported by the Winnipeg Sun‘s Kirk Penton, then confirmed by the team later in the day. The Riders also confirmed the signing of defensive end Eric Norwood.
While Head Coach and General Manager Chris Jones has been busy this off-season building up competition at the position, Denmark brings some familiarity with the CFL game and some much-needed veteran experience to a young roster.
While Denmark logged the second-least productive season of his career in 2015, he spent his five years with the Bombers emerging as one of the league’s most reliable and consistent receivers.
The 30-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. native has recorded 4,165 receiving yards in his career (833 per season) while missing only three games over five seasons. Last season he caught 57 passes for 718 yards and three touchdowns.
Rob Bagg and sophomores Naaman Roosevelt and Nic Demski are holdovers from last year, but outside of them it’ll be a new look group catching passes from veteran quarterback Darian Durant this season. While Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith are among the subtractions, Shamawd Chambers, Kendial Lawrence and John Chiles have been added along with Denmark.
Price was added earlier in the off-season via trade but retired unexpectedly in April.
Adding Denmark adds more intrigue to an already-hot rivalry, as long-time Rider Dressler caused a stir by signing with the Bombers along with Smith.
The Riders also announced the signing of Alec Lemon and the release of five other players: nationals Alex Carroll, Brandon Deschamps and Carl Fitzgerald and internationals Sage Harold and Stephen Houston.