Regina Leader-Post

Former Roughrider Sheets now free to sign as free agent

- MURRAY MCCORMICK mmccormick@

Running back Kory Sheets, the most valuable player in the 2013 Grey Cup game, is once again a free agent.

Sheets is an unrestrict­ed free agent after being nontendere­d by the NFL’s Oakland Raiders on Tuesday. He can still return to Oakland, if the Raiders opt to re-sign him. Sheets, who starred with the Saskatchew­an Roughrider­s during the 2012 and 2013 CFL seasons, is free to sign with another NFL team or return to the CFL.

Sheets missed the 2014 NFL season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon during a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. Neither Sheets nor representa­tives from the Riders were available for comment Tuesday.

Riders head coach Corey Chamblin was non-committal Monday when asked about the team’s interest in re-signing Sheets during an interview with CKRM’s Rod Pedersen. Chamblin said those type of personnel decisions were up to general manager Brendan Taman and assistant general manager Jeremy O’Day.

Chamblin cited concerns about Sheets’ latest injury. It was the second time that the running back suffered a torn Achilles while with an NFL team. In 2010, he suffered a torn right Achilles during training camp with the Miami Dolphins.

Chamblin then sparked a Twitter response from Sheets when he told Pedersen that “(Sheets) has done a lot of good things for us in the past and of course I’m sure that we’d have to look into that. But as he exited there were some things ‘character-wise’ that didn’t expose themselves or show when he was here. So there’s some things we’ll have to look at.’’

Chamblin didn’t expand on the character issues.

Sheets received an absolute discharge after being charged with possession of marijuana near Estevan after signing with the Raiders. The incident didn’t keep Sheets from joining the Raiders at training camp.

Sheets replied to Chamblin’s comments on Twitter with the following responses: “Not concerned with what he said, thought it was funny;’’ “Didn’t know I had character issues;’’ and, “It doesn’t even matter I’m so numb to the bs.’’

Sheets, who turns 30 on March 31, rushed for 1,277 yards with the 2012 Roughrider­s. He followed that up in the 2013 season by gaining 1,598 yards along the ground — despite missing nearly four games with a knee injury — and being named a CFL all-star.

Sheets was named the most valuable player in the 2013 Grey Cup game while rushing for a record 197 yards in Saskatchew­an’s 4523 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Mosaic Stadium. Sheets parlayed that performanc­e into a contract with the Raiders.

Meanwhile, former Riders linebacker Shomari Williams signed with the Calgary Stampeders on Tuesday. Williams, who was released by the Riders on March 2, was the first overall selection by the Riders in the 2010 CFL draft out of Queen’s University.

Williams spent 2010 through 2012 with the Riders as a defensive end and linebacker. He signed with Hamilton as a free agent in 2013 and was traded to the Riders for punter Josh Bartel in 2014. Williams recorded a career-high 17 special-teams tackles in 18 regular-season games in 2014.

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