SPORTS

Hamilton Tiger-Cats release veteran defensive lineman Stevie Baggs

03/15/2012 05:04 EDT | Updated 05/15/2012 05:12 EDT
HAMILTON - Stevie Baggs' time in Steeltown is over.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats released the veteran defensive end Thursday, just over a season-and-a-half after landing him as a free agent. The CFL club also signed defensive end Angelo Craig, Darius Powell and Marc Schiechl.

A CFL source requesting anonymity said the Ticats approached Baggs about re-doing his contract, which reportedly paid him about $150,000 annually. When Baggs refused, the club let him go, the source added.

A Ticats spokesman denied the claim, saying the club did not approach Baggs about restructuring his deal.

"I would like to thank all the fans in Hamilton for their support," Baggs tweeted after the Ticats announced the move.

The six-foot-one, 241-pound Baggs signed with Hamilton on Sept. 16, 2010 after being released by the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. He appeared in 25 regular-season games with the Ticats, registering 72 tackles and 10 sacks.

Baggs had 50 tackles and five sacks in 18 games with the CFL club last season. The Ticats' decision to release Baggs is somewhat curious after the club lost defensive end Justin Hickman, who had a team-high 13 sacks last year, to the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

"We'd like to thank Stevie for his efforts both on and off the field, but we feel that it's in the best interests of our football team to move forward with different players on our defensive line," George Cortez, the Ticats new head coach and football operations director, said in a statement. "We wish Stevie all the best in his future endeavours."

Baggs, 30, began his pro football career with the Detroit Lions in 2004 as an undrafted free agent. He came to the CFL two years later, arriving in Winnipeg before splitting the 2007 season between the Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos.

Baggs joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2008 and remained with the Riders through the 2009 season before signing with the Cardinals in 2010.

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