July 2, 2016

Argos acquire DL Shawn Lemon in trade with Riders


TORONTO – The Shawn Lemon era in Saskatchewan has lasted no more than one game.

The Toronto Argonauts have acquired the international defensive lineman and a conditional 2018 CFL Draft pick from the Saskatchewan Roughriders in exchange for national offensive lineman Matt Sewell and international quarterback Mitchell Gale.

Reports circulated earlier in the week that Lemon and the Riders had fallen out of favour with one another, even more so after being listed as fourth on the Riders depth chart at rush end.  He was used sparingly during Thursday night’s 30-17 loss to the Argos in the Riders’ season-opener, recording a forced fumble while failing to record a tackle.

Lemon signed with the Riders as a free agent this past January after spending the latter half of the 2015 season with the Ottawa REDBLACKS. In nine games with the REDBLACKS, the 6-2, 251-pound native of Charleston, S.C. registered 15 defensive tackles, six quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and two tackles for a loss en route to assisting Ottawa to an appearance in the 103rd Grey Cup.

The former Akron Zip has notched 71 defensive tackles, one special teams tackle, 28 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and one interception in 47 career CFL games. He played an integral part in the Calgary Stampeders 102nd Grey Cup Championship in 2014.

The Argonauts also announced today that the club has signed international defensive lineman Joshua Watson to the practice roster.

Watson, a 6-4, 290-pound, native of Wilmington, Del., returns to the Argonauts after spending training camp with the club last month. In 44 games over four seasons at Clemson, he had one of the most productive careers by a Tigers defensive lineman, registering 148 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, nine pass knockdowns, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

Both Lemon and Watson will participate in practice tomorrow with the team at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Dunk Dials in on Lemon Trade

CFL.ca columnist Justin Dunk was one of the first to report that there may have been some unrest in Riderville between the club and Lemon and believes that an acquisition of Jonathan Newsome, combined with the veteran rush end’s familiarity with Rich Stubler’s defence in Toronto made the deal work for both sides.

“The Argos get a proven pass rusher in Shawn Lemon who has been productive in Rich Stubler’s defence and knows it well”, Dunk said.

“Signing Jonathan Newsome led to the Riders having a surplus of talented defensive ends. And the Riders were able to turn that depth into a quarterback, Mitchell Gale, who has experience in the league and a Canadian OL, two positions Saskatchewan needed to upgrade.”

Gale has yet to start a CFL game but has been in two of the premier offensive systems in the CFL, spending time with the Argos and Ticats over the last three seasons.