January 27, 2017

Riders cut four headed to free agency including Gale, Chambers

Matt Smith/CFL.ca

REGINA — Four veterans who were scheduled to hit free agency on Februrary 14th will have an opportunity to test the waters early after the Saskatchewan Roughriders made a list of moves today.  Among those released were QB Mitchell Gale, WR Shamawd Chambers, RB Curtis Steele and LB Dylan Ainsworth.

Gale was acquired by the Riders in July of 2016, along with Matt Sewell, for Shawn Lemon and a conditional 2018 CFL draft pick. He played in 15 games in the regular season making three starts. The pivot completed 79 of his 137 passes for 950 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had 20 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown.

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Patrick Doyle/CFL.ca

Steele signed as a free agent with the Riders in February of 2016 and started all seven games he played in. The running back missed 11 games with an injury but still collected 54 carries for 314 yards and caught 16 passes for 138 yards.

Steele signed with the Toronto Argonauts in 2013 and stayed there for three seasons playing in 33 games and collected 138 carries for 820 yards and eight touchdowns over that span.

Chambers signed a free agent deal with Saskatchewan in February of 2016 and started six of the 14 games he played in catching 25 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown.

The wideout was selected by the Edmonton Eskimos in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2012 CFL Draft and played 16 games for the Esks that year. His 37 receptions for 390 yards and two touchdowns earned him the Esks’ Most Outstanding Rookie award.

The Markham native then was named Edmonton’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2013 as he collected 42 receptions for 465 yards and four majors. Chambers started 12 games in 2014, nabbing 30 passes for 366 yards and a touchdown.

The 27-year-old won the 103rd Grey Cup with the Esks and was named the 2015 Grey Cup Most Valuable Canadian.

Ainsworth signed in Riderville as a free agent in February of 2016 but missed the entire 2016 season after suffering an injury in training camp.

He was selected by the Roughriders in the second round (11th overall) in the 2014 CFL Draft suiting up for all 18 games that season collecting 17 special teams tackles. He played in 17 games the following year, recording one defensive tackle and 12 special teams tackles, earning himself a nomination for the Riders’ 2015 Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.