Stampeders sack veteran linebacker Clark

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders have cut ties with veteran middle linebacker Brian Clark.

With the recent free-agent signing of JoJuan Armour, there was a glut of linebackers under contract.

Also getting released were linebackers Rob Rodriguez and Cornelius Anthony as the Stamps cleaned house because they will continue to run a four-three system this season.

"It was a difficult decision," Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel said on QR77 radio last night.

"I told him he was no longer in the plans and gave him the option whether he wanted to retire or get released. He chose to be released."

With only three starting spots at linebacker, Armour will battle with Scott Coe, Trey Young, Neil Ternovatsky and Matt Grootegoed.

Clark, 33, who came on board before the 2004 season, flourished under former defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan's three-four formation.

But once Creehan was fired late last season, the Stamps switched to a four-three and Clark was forced to share duties with his good friend Scott Coe.

Because of the import ratio, the Stamps needed another Canadian on the field, and Clark was a casualty, sitting out the final regular-season game and the playoff loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Coe and Ternovatsky shared the duties at that position.

Clark, a nine-year veteran, had 44 tackles in 16 games last season. He was a West Division all-star in 2005.

Rodriguez made one start for the Stamps last season but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in replacing Clark.

Anthony spent three seasons with Stamps, becoming a starter in 2006 but getting relegated to a backup position last season on a deep Calgary roster.

The Stampeders also released fullback Cory Hathaway, who never played a game with Calgary after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training camp.


Videos

Photos