- Free Agency
CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders have signed all-star international defensive end Charleston Hughes to a contract that will keep him with the Red and White through the 2018 season. The nine-year veteran had been eligible to become a free agent in February.
Hughes led the CFL with 16 sacks in 2016 – his second career CFL sack title – and he also had 47 tackles, three forced fumbles and a pass knockdown as he earned CFL all-star recognition for the third time. The Saginaw, Mich., native earned his fifth West Division all-star nod and was the team’s nominee for the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award for a third time.
“Charleston is a cornerstone of our defence and 2016 was another great season for him,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “He has maintained a high level of play since he first came to Calgary and I look forward to more of the same in the future.”
Hughes first joined the Stamps in 2008 and was the team’s sack leader as a rookie as he helped Calgary win a Grey Cup championship. He returned to Calgary in 2009 after attending training camp with the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles and has remained with the Stamps ever since.
His 88 career sacks are second all-time in Stampeders franchise history, trailing only Will Johnson’s total of 99. Hughes has claimed at least a share of the team lead in sacks in seven of his nine seasons with the Stamps. In 131 career regular-season contests, the Northwood University alum also has 371 tackles, including 42 tackles for loss, 22 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 26 pass knockdowns.
Hughes has appeared in 10 playoff contests and three Grey Cup games as a member of the Red and White.
“I’m glad to get the contract taken care of,” said Hughes. “I’m very happy to be back with the Stamps and I look forward to us having another great season. We have a lot of unfinished business and we just have to focus on getting even better as a team.”