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REGINA — The Chris Jones era in Saskatchewan has officially come to an abrupt end. Jones resigned from the Roughriders Tuesday to take on a position with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.
According to CFL.ca’s Davis Sanchez, Jones will be the Browns’ senior defensive specialist.
The news comes exactly a week after Jones signed an extension with the Roughriders to keep him as the team’s vice-president of football operations, general manager and head coach through 2020.
After going through a 5-13 rebuilding season in 2016, the Riders improved to 10-8 under Jones’ guidance in 2017 and appeared in a division final for the first time since 2013. Last year they improved their win total again, finishing 12-6, good for second in the West and a home playoff game. Jones was named CFL Coach of the Year last November for his efforts.
“We are proud of what Chris came in and accomplished through his three seasons as general manager and head coach,” stated Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds. “His work obviously didn’t go unnoticed and we congratulate him on his opportunity in the National Football League and thank him for his contribution to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.”
With the off-season in full swing, the Riders quickly turn their attention to seeking a replacement for Jones who not only held head coaching duties but was the team’s general manager, defensive coordinator and had heavy influence in team scouting.
“We are fortunate to have many quality football leaders and coaches on our staff,” Reynolds added. “We will evaluate and will look to fill the vacancy quickly.”