December 7, 2016

Riders extend top rookie Cox through 2018

Johany Jutras/

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders have locked up a key piece of their future on defence, announcing Wednesday a contract extension for defensive back Justin Cox.

The 23-year-old international, named the Riders’ Most Outstanding Rookie for his play in 2016, will remain with the team through 2018. As per team policy, financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

Cox, a 6-foot, 187-pound defensive back out of Mississippi, completed his first season for the Green and White after signing with the team back in May. The rookie started the first 15 games before suffering an injury that forced him to miss the final three contests.

In his first professional season, Cox registered 42 defensive tackles and a team-leading four interceptions.

The move signals some much-needed continuity entering 2017, which will be Chris Jones’ second season as the team’s head coach and general manager. The Riders finished 5-13 in their first year under Jones although young players like Cox were a bright spot throughout a difficult 2016 campaign.