Pacino Horne has gone from Grey Cup hero to being unemployed.
The speedy cornerback was among 11 players released Monday by the Toronto Argonauts. Horne started the club’s 35-22 CFL championship win over the Calgary Stampeders at Rogers Centre last November and delivered a key play in the victory.
With Toronto leading 7-3, Horne intercepted Calgary’s Kevin Glenn and returned it 25 yards for the TD and a 14-3 advantage.
The six-foot-one, 181-pound Horne registered four interceptions with Toronto last season, his first in the CFL. Horne, whose mother named him after Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino, was late reporting to the Argos training camp due to a calf injury.
“We have a number of talented players competing for spots in our secondary and we look forward to seeing them develop,” Argos GM Jim Barker said in a statement.
Also released were kicker/punter Anthony Alix and receivers Quincy Hurst and Djems Kouame, all Canadians.
Alix, a native of Mont-Tremblant, Que., spent the bulk of the year on the practice roster but did appear in one regular-season game. Hurst, a Vancouver native, was a 2012 fourth-round draft pick while Kouame, who was born in Montreal and raised in Ottawa, was a 2011 third-round selection who spent the ’12 season on the injured list with a broken leg.
Running back Daryl Stephenson, who captured the 2006 Hec Crighton Trophy while at the University of Windsor, was among three players released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The six-foot-two, 230-pound native of London, Ont., was a 2008 third-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He joined the Ticats as a free agent in February 2011.
The Ticats also announced fullback Isaac Dell, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick, has retired.
Offensive lineman Mark Dewit, a five-year CFL veteran, was released by the Bombers. The six-foot-three, 305-pound Dewit, a Calgary native, was a 2008 sixth-round draft pick of the Argos and also spent time with Hamilton and Calgary before signing with Winnipeg last February as a free agent.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders released eight players, including sophomore quarterback Levi Brown. The Buffalo Bills selected Brown in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL draft before releasing him in September 2011. Brown signed with Saskatchewan in March 2012.
The Riders also placed offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld and linebacker Mike McCullough, both Canadians, on the nine-game injured list.
Edmonton released rookie defensive back Eric Samuels just over two weeks after he signed with the CFL club. The Eskimos then re-signed defensive back Cary Harris a day after releasing him.