Chris Jones has cut a lot of players in his time, but few have been as difficult as veteran Roughrider receiver Rob Bagg.
“Rob Bagg’s been a good player here for a long time and certainly he’s been a loyal player for us during our tenure here,” Jones said in a media conference about the team’s cuts Sunday.
“Rob and I are close … and it was a tough one.”
The head coach said simply that Bagg at 33-years-old had been outperformed by some of the young receivers the team invited to training camp.
“We brought in a couple of guys that really had good camps, so that was kind of the direction we decided to go, ” Jones said, adding “it’s a young man’s game.”
Bagg played in 139 games in the green and white catching 364 passes for 4,705 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was a member of the 2013 Grey Cup team who won the championship on home soil and a fan favourite.
Joined by Bagg on the chopping block were two other veteran receivers: Bakari Grant and Chad Owens.
Jones said all of those decisions were hard, but he has to balance the present with the future and talent with salary.
“If you were just coaching the easy thing would be just to take the best guy, but when you have to factor everything in and make decisions based on … the entire good of the entire organization and not just for now but for two years from now I think everything has to be factored in that way.”
The news about Bagg’s release trickled out yesterday after Bagg tweeted a thank you message to the Roughrider nation.
THANK YOU RIDER NATION.
— Rob Bagg (@R_Bagg6) June 9, 2018
Crapigna out for the year
The Riders also moved five players to the six-game injured list including kicker Tyler Crapigna.
Jones revealed that Crapigna has been dealing with a leg issue for some time.
“He was going to wait to get it worked on after the season, so he kind of put the team in front of his own personal good,” Jones said, adding they had been keeping a close eye on Crapigna just in case.
Once the Riders realized they could depend on Brett Lauther to kick for the season, Crapigna opted to have surgery on his leg.
“It’s been bothering him so much, so (surgery) is kind of the direction that we went.”
Rehabbing the injury is expected to keep Crapigna out for the entire year after which Jones expects to see him back and competing.
The other four players moved to the injury list are Brandyn Bartlett, Kevin Francis, Jake Harty and Josiah St. John.
Full list of Riders cuts:
- National offensive lineman Emmanuel Adusei
- National receiver Rob Bagg
- International offensive lineman Travis Bond
- International running back David Cobb
- International defensive lineman Rakim Cox
- International defensive back Jeremy Cutrer
- International quarterback J. Daniels
- National defensive back Tristan Doughlin
- International offensive lineman Timothy Gardner
- National linebacker Dillon Grondin
- International defensive back Reggie Hall
- International defensive back Orlandus Harris
- National offensive lineman Dalton Houghton
- International linebacker Kalen Jackson
- International defensive back Rudy Johnson
- International running back Storm Johnson
- International defensive lineman Arthur Miley
- National receiver Mitch Picton
- International linebacker Tyrell Robinson
- National running back Bryce Vieira
- International defensive lineman Gary Wilkins