Offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley opts out of deal with Roughriders

Saskatchewan Roughriders general manager Jeremy O'Day. (Michael Bell/CP)

TORONTO — Offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley opted out of his CFL contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday to pursue NFL opportunities.

The six-foot-four, 310-pound native of Windsor, Ont., was the Riders’ nominee for the CFL’s top rookie award last year. He was allowed to opt out of his deal following the league’s cancellation of the 2020 season last week.

Saskatchewan selected Shepley in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2018 CFL draft out of the University of British Columbia. He attended the New York Jets’ training camp before being released and signing with the Riders.

Also on Tuesday, the Ottawa Redblacks released American punter Richie Leone so he could pursue NFL opportunities.

Leone, a three-time CFL all-star, was the East Division’s top punter last year, averaging 48.4 yards per attempt. He’d spent two seasons with Ottawa and also held for Canadian kicker Lewis Ward.

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