At a time when Roughrider fans were looking for answers, head coach Chris Jones didn’t provide any.
The head coach spoke with the media Sunday morning, roughly twelve hours after the club announced that they had released star receiver and fan favourite Duron Carter.
Jones said the club is constantly evaluating their talent and came to the conclusion that it was time to move on from Carter who spent time on both offence and defence this season and signed with the club in 2017.
“I went back and forth in my mind and yesterday about half time of the (Redblacks versus Alouettes) game decided to go ahead and call him and alert him that was the direction we were going,” Jones said.
As for the reason, Jones refused to get into it.
“We’re not here to put a guy on trial or anything like that. We released a very good player who I think will end up, he’s going land on his feet … but we decided to go in a different direction for our football team.”
Jones did make it clear that the release had nothing to do with a tryout he hosted for former NFL receiver Terrell Owens earlier in the month and also added there was no specific event that led to the decision.
According to Jones, Carter did not seem to be surprised by his release, though in a tweet Carter said that’s because his teammates seemed to know before he did.
So here you go only saying it once: my teammates started calling me Sat. asking me questions like “what happened” etc. I eventually text coach Jones “What’s the deal? Why my teammates asking if I’m on the team?” Get a call from him saying “thanks for your service on both sides”
— Duron Carter (@DC_CHILLIN_8) August 12, 2018
Carter was the Roughriders top receiver in 2017 with 1193 yards and nine touchdowns. In 2018, he spent the majority of his time on defence in place of the injured Nick Marshall.
With Marshall back in the line-up Carter shifted to a slot back position against Edmonton earning 59 yards and a touchdown.
Jones said Caleb Holley will return to the line-up to fill the hole left by Carter. Shaquelle Evans will continue to occupy the wide receiver position that Carter vacated while playing defensive back.
According to TSN reporter Farhan Lalji, at least four different teams are interested in bringing in the receiver.
I’m told #Alouettes #Argos #BCLions #TiCats have all reached out to Duron Carter. Some have made contract offers. I don’t expect the other 4 teams to reach out. Carter hopes to make a decision in the next couple of days. @CFLonTSN @cfl @TSN_Sports @TSN1040
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) August 12, 2018
But Carter’s future seems to be a little up in the air as the receiver tweeted that he may look for a job outside of the game.
The Roughriders have a couple more days off before returning to the practice field on Wednesday.
The Riders play the Calgary Stampeders at home on Sunday.