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Friday, May 29, 2015

CFL NOTEBOOK

HAMILTON - Linebacker Marc Beswick of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced his CFL retirement Friday.

Beswick spent six seasons with Hamilton after starting his CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2008.

"I want to thank (owner) Bob Young and the entire Tiger-Cats organization for my time with the team, but most of all my coaches, trainers, equipment staff, the fans and especially, my teammates,'' said Beswick. "As I move on from my football career, I want TigerTown to know I will always bleed black and gold.''

The six-foot-one, 198-pound Beswick, a Vancouver native, was a special-teams dynamo over his CFL career. He registered 123 special-teams tackles in the regular season and eight in the playoffs. He led the CFL in special-teams tackles in 2011 and '13.

He was the East Division's top special-teams player in 2013 and finished his career tied with Rob Hitchcock for the most special-teams tackles in Ticats history with 122.

"As an organization, we would like to thank Marc for his six years with the club,'' head coach/GM Kent Austin said. "His leadership and dedication to the team will be missed.

"We wish him and his family the best and they will always be a part of the Tiger-Cat family.''

Beswick appeared in 103 career regular-season games and participated in Grey Cups the last two years with Hamilton.

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TORONTO - Jason Pottinger is calling it a career.

The nine-year veteran linebacker announced his retirement Friday, just two days before the Ottawa Redblacks opened training camp. The native of Whitby, Ont., spent last season with Ottawa after being selected by the club in the CFL expansion draft following the 2013 campaign.

"Over the last nine CFL seasons I have had the privilege of travelling our country from coast to coast and playing the game I love,'' Pottinger said. "I also had the great honour of winning a Grey Cup championship in my hometown.

"The best part was that I enjoyed every second of it with my friends and family. I'll never forget the good times I had, the amazing people I met and the valuable life lessons I learned throughout my career.''

Pottinger, 31, began his pro career with the B.C. Lions after being selected second overall in the 2006 CFL draft. He won the first of his two Grey Cup titles with the Lions that season.

The six-foot-two, 238-pound Pottinger spent three seasons in B.C. before being dealt to the Toronto Argonauts on March 23, 2009 for an '09 first-round draft pick. He played five seasons with the Argos, helping the team win the 2012 Grey Cup game at Rogers Centre.

Pottinger appeared in all 18 regular-season games last season with Ottawa.

Pottinger was a standout player at McMaster University from 2002-05. Twice he was an All-Canadian and captured the OUA's top defensive player honour in 2004 and 2005.

Pottinger also started a charitable initiative, Tackles 4 Toilets, which raises money to build new latrines for rural grade schools in Kenya. He has sent over 200 underprivileged youth to Argos games.

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TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts signed Canadian defensive lineman Daryl Waud, international quarterback Blake Sims and international wide receiver Brandon Terry.

Toronto selected the six-foot-five, 270-pound Waud in the second round, 12th overall, of the CFL draft earlier this month. Waud, a Hamilton native, had 75 tackles, 8.5 sacks and an interception return for a TD over four seasons with the Western Mustangs.

Waud, a three-time All-Canadian, participated in the East-West Shrine game in January.

The six-foot, 208-pound Sims joins the Argos after attending the Washington Redskins' rookie mini-camp. Sims completed 64.5 per cent of his passes at Alabama for 3,487 passing yards and 28 TDs.

Sims guided the Crimson Tide to a 2014 SEC championship and an appearance in the inaugural NCAA college football playoff.

Terry, a six-foot-five, 210-pound native of Alpharetta, Ga., played four seasons at Wake Forest. He caught 21 passes for 340 yards in 32 games with the Demon Deacons.

The Argos also released international defensive back Jordan Sullen.

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TORONTO - TSN and RDS have extended their broadcast agreement with the CFL by three years through the 2021 season.

Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge made the announcement Thursday at the league's Inside The CFL event.

"The CFL's partnership with TSN and RDS has been central to our growth and momentum and we look forward to working together to reach new and even bigger audiences,'' Orridge said.

The present deal was scheduled to expire following the 2018 season.

In March 2013, the CFL and TSN agreed to a five-year broadcast agreement that was reportedly worth $43 million annually, starting in 2014. That was more than 2 1/2 times the previous five-year agreement, which was worth $15 million a year.

Under terms of the extension, TSN and RDS continue to hold exclusive media rights to all CFL games, including the Grey Cup. In addition to broadcast and digital rights, the deal features exclusive radio rights to the Grey Cup for Bell Media's Grey Cup Radio Network.

(Canadian Press)

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