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REGINA — In a move that has stunned the football world, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have released international receiver Duron Carter, the team announced Saturday night.
Carter was in his second season with the team after joining the club ahead of the 2017 season.
While spending most of the season as a defensive back, the prolific pass-catcher has recorded 111 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight receptions, including a 41-yard score last week in his return to the Riders’ offence.
Carter initially raised suspicion online when he sent a cryptic Tweet, suggesting his time in Riderville was over. The Riders confirmed the move 10 minutes later.
Last season, his first with the Riders, Carter piled up 1,043 yards on 73 receptions while scoring eight touchdowns, helping the resurgent Riders win 10 games and reach the Eastern Final.
This isn’t the first time Riders general manager and head coach Chris Jones has turned the CFL landscape upside down, although this may be his biggest moment yet.
Before his first season as Riders GM in 2016, Jones caught the ire of Rider Nation when he released Riders cornerstones John Chick and Weston Dressler.
The following off-season he parted ways with Grey Cup-winning quarterback Darian Durant, eventually trading him to the Montreal Alouettes on an expiring contract.
In addition to being one of the league’s most productive receivers on the field, Carter has always been one of the most flambouyant off it. His most famous moment may have come last season, when, ahead of his first career start at defensive back, he Tweeted to Bo Levi Mitchell that he would score on a pick-six.
Carter followed through on his word, intercepting the Calgary quarterback and returning it for a touchdown in a statement win for the Riders.
While the 27-year-old is one of the most polarizing figures in the three-down game, there should be plenty of interested suitors. Carter has 4,031 yards in five CFL seasons with Montreal and Saskatchewan and is a two-time CFL All-Star in addition to a pair of divisional honours.