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The axe came down on CFL veterans Justin Palardy, Hugh Charles, Jamel Richardson and Martell Mallett on Saturday. All four were released as CFL teams reduced their rosters to 46 players by the league deadline of 10 p.m. ET. The regular season kicks off Thursday with the Toronto Argonauts visiting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Veteran kicker Palardy was among 14 players cut by the expansion Ottawa Redblacks. While his release was surprising, the Edmonton Eskimos provided a shocker by including seven-year veteran Charles name in their final 15 cuts. A knee injury limited nine-year CFL veteran Richardson, 32, to only 18 catches for 197 yards last year, breaking a streak of five straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons with Montreal, which also let veteran linebacker Diamond Ferri go. Mallett, the 09 CFL top rookie with B.C., was released by Calgary. The running back was attempting to resurrect his career after suffering a season-ending torn Achilles tendon during training camp in 12 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Veteran defensive back Evan McCullough, who earned a Grey Cup ring with Toronto in 12, was among five players released by Hamilton. The Argos were expected to announce their final cuts Sunday. Palardy, a 26-year-old native of Truro, N.S., was looking to kick-start his CFL career with Ottawa but was released along with international kicker Paolo Henriques, leaving American rookie Brett Maher as the clubs only kicker. Howeer, late Saturday night it was reported that Maher had also been released. Maher had a field goal, three converts and single in Ottawas 26-10 exhibition win over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night, but he didnt exactly receive a ringing endorsement from Redblacks GM Marcel Desjardins on Saturday. "Unfortunately nobody lived up to what we felt the acceptable level of performance would be," Desjardins told reporters. "Even in Bretts case, he knows he need to be better. "It doesnt mean hes locked into being our guy either . . . were still having guys to explore and other options to look at and were going to do that. We have time, we have bye week so we have a lot of time to figure this out." The Redblacks dont play their first game until July 3 in Winnipeg. Palardy, a former Saint Marys star, was taken in the fifth round of the 2010 CFL draft by Hamilton and played in five games as a punter before being released. Palardy joined Winnipeg in August 2010 and made 26-of-30 field goals for a club-record 86.7 per cent success ratio. He followed that up by hitting 40-of-52 field goals in 2011. The following season, Palardy was Winnipegs nominee for the CFLs top special-teams player after making 39-of-45 field goals and averaging a career-high 57.3 yards on 70 kickoffs. But after hitting 9-of-12 field goals in 13, Palardy was replaced by Canadian Sando DeAngelis and released by the Bombers on Aug. 27, 2013. He signed with Ottawa on March 6. Palardy punted 12 times against Montreal for a 39.8-yard average. Redblacks head coach Rick Campbell said cutdown day is tough for all involved. "This is not a fun day," he said. "Theres a lot of guys that have put in a lot of work to get to this point and to try and make a football team. "To give people bad news, you never want to do it but its a part of the fact of what happens in pro sports." Over his career, Palardy made 114-of-139 field goals (82 per cent) and boasted a 42.1-yard punting average Also released by the Redblacks were national receivers Aaron Hargreaves, Simon LeMarquand and Steven Adu, international defensive back Parker Orms, international linebacker Devin Arrington, national defensive lineman Stephon Miller, international defensive lineman Dimetrio Tyson,, national offensive linemen James Lee, Brendan Dunn and Aaron Wheaton, international receivers Taulib Ikharo and Travon Patterson. The B.C. Lions released seven players. They were: national running back Guillame Bourassa, international defensive back Tony Burnett, international linebacker, Korey Jones, international defensive lineman Dyrell Porcha, international offensive tackle RJ Dill, national kicker/punter Steven Shott and national linebacker Thomas Spoletini. American defensive end Scooter Berry, who was entering his third CFL season, was among 14 players released by Montreal. The six-foot-two, 275-pound Berry had spent time in the NFL with the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as Arena Football Leagues Jacksonville Sharks, before joining the Alouettes. "Lost a lot of good teammates today especially my boy (at)Sdot--Berry," Alouttes defensive lineman John Bowman tweeted. "I wish all yall the best. "This is the non fun part about the game." Montreals moves mean international receiver Chad Johnson made its final roster. Johnson, 36, was a longtime NFL star but was out of football for two years before signing with the Alouettes. In addition to Charles, Edmonton released national defensive linemen Michaell Dadzie and Gregory Alexandre, national receiver Anthony Barrett, international defensive linemen Cameron Sheffield, Daniel Ross and RaShon Harris, national cornerback Raye Hartmann, national centre Gord Hinse, international defensive backs Robert Sands and Myron Lewis, international slotback Brandon McRae, national punter-kicker Zackary Medeiros, national linebacker Kyle Norris and national fullback Smith Wright. The Grey Cup-champion Saskatchewan Roughriders released 26 players, including international linebacker Brandon Isaac, who earned a Grey Cup ring with Toronto in 12 and spent last season with Hamilton. Also let go were national receivers Jade Etienne -- selected fourth overall in the 11 draft by Winnipeg -- and Jordan Sisco, a 2010 second-round pick by the Riders, and international defensive lineman Markus White, who suffered a seizure during camp. Winnipeg made its final cuts Friday, releasing 11 players, including former starter Max Hall. Jim Palmer Jersey . Next up, the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Cleveland Browns in the AFC North. Baltimore Ravens In 2014, the 8-8 season that the Baltimore Ravens experienced was to be expected. Manny Machado Jersey . - Jason Day and Cameron Tringale shot an 8-under 64 on Friday in modified alternate-shot play to increase their lead to three strokes in the Franklin Templeton Shootout. http://www.theoriolesteamshop.com/Oriol ... ersey/.com) - The top spot in the AFC South will be on the line when Houston native Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts shoot for their fourth straight win when they take on the Texans at NRG Stadium. Brad Brach Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins (3) - Surrendered a tough first goal against on a deflection through the body short side. Jeremy Hellickson Jersey .Morse gets a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million next season and $8 million in 2016 under the agreement announced Wednesday.Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - North Dakota State football has been the story of the decade in the FCS, but in 2014 the Bison have had some sharing to do within their Missouri Valley Football Conference. Illinois State earned a share of the Valley title alongside NDSU and, although both programs didnt meet in the regular season, they will square off in the FCS championship game on Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas - the first time the two national finalists are members of the same FCS conference. Heres a Top 10 countdown of a memorable 2014 across the FCS, dominated by you-know-what conference: 10. FBS Wins Cut in Half - FCS teams posted a record 16 wins over FBS programs in 2013, but the number was only eight this year. One of the highlights was North Dakota State claiming a win over the FBS for the fifth year in a row, 34-14 at Iowa State on Aug. 30. Also, Yale was a rare host to an FBS program, celebrating the 100th anniversary season of its Yale Bowl by defeating Army, 49-43, in overtime on running back Tyler Vargas fifth touchdown on Sept. 27. 9. Defensive Ends Everywhere - A defensive end, North Dakota State senior Kyle Emanuel, won the 20th annual Buck Buchanan Award as the outstanding defensive player in the FCS, and the talent at the position was better than at any other one in the nation. Any All-American team left off countless worthy candidates. The Sports Network FCS All-America first team included defensive ends Emanuel, Chattanoogas Davis Tull and Montanas Zack Wagenmann. 8. New Hampshire No. 1 - While qualifying for the FCS playoffs for an 11th consecutive season, New Hampshire grabbed the No. 1 ranking for the first time since the 2006 season. The Wildcats, under Eddie Robinson Award winner Sean McDonnell, went unbeaten in the CAA Football and captured a school-record 12 straight games before falling to Illinois State in the national semifinals on Dec. 20. 7. Conference Favorites Rule - Surprise champions and title contenders are an annual staple across the FCS, but the preseason favorites were in control in 2014. Out of 13 conferences, 11 favorites captured at least a share of its conference title: Eastern Washington (Big Sky), Coastal Carolina (Big South), New Hampshire (CAA), Bethune-Cookman (MEAC), North Dakota State (Missouri Valley), Sacred Heart (Northeast), Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley), Fordham (Patriot), San Diego (Pioneer), Chattanooga (Southern) and Southeastern Louisiana (Southland). Southern reached the SWAC championship game, leaving only Princeton to fall flat in the Ivy League. 6. Grambling Revival - First-year coach Broderick Fobbs turned around the fortunes of Grambling State, his alma mater, a year after a turbulent season in which there was three different coaches in charge, the players staged a six- day walkout in protest of conditions in the program and refused to travel to a game at Jackson State - forcing the Southwestern Athletic Conference program into a forfeit - and the Tigers won only one game for a second consecutive season. Under Fobbs, the historically black national power won its first seven SWAC games and nearly reached the conference championship game in a 7-5 campaign. 5. Year of the Quarterbacks ... - Sure, its a quarterbacks game today, but the Walter Payton Award has really come to belong to the quarterbacks. The count of winners was once nine running backs, seven quarterbacks and one wide receiver. But Villanova ssignal caller John Robertson claiming the 28th annual award - the Heisman of the FCS - marked the 11th straight win by a quarterback.dddddddddddd Also invited to the Payton announcement were two other QBs, runner-up Vernon Adams Jr. of Eastern Washington and third-place finisher Justin Arias of Idaho State. 4. ... Or (More Likely) Year of the Running Backs - South Dakota State senior Zach Zenners romp over Montana State in a snowy playoff game highlighted his third straight season of surpassing 2,000 rushing yards - a first in NCAA Division I. Thanks greatly to his amazing three-peat, there has been two 2,000-yard rushers in each of the past three FCS seasons (Illinois State junior Marshaun Coprich is the other back to do so this season and North Dakota State senior John Crockett could make it a trio). Before 2012, there was only one such season with multiple 2,000-yard backs. Three FCS running backs - Towsons Terrance West (Cleveland Browns), Georgia Southerns Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota Vikings) and Coastal Carolinas Lorenzo Taliaferro (Baltimore Ravens) were selected in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft in May and had an impact along with undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland) from Alabama State. 3. Bison, Bison and More Bison - North Dakota State is a known brand not just in the FCS but in all of college football (just ask ESPNs College GameDay). The Bison opened the year by becoming the second program to win a third straight FCS championship, routing Towson, 35-7, in the final. Chris Klieman took the coaching reins from Craig Bohl and his program never let up, extending a nearly 25-month winning streak to an FCS-record 33 games before it lost to Northern Iowa on Nov. 8. With a 14-1 record, the Bison are headed back to Frisco, Texas, to try to win an unprecedented fourth straight title. 2. Coaching Carousel - The head coaching changes for 2014 got a head start late last year and it wasnt pretty. An unsettling 28 of the 124 FCS programs - a whopping 22.6 percent - had new head coaches this season. The big successes included Fobbs (Grambling State), Klieman (North Dakota State), Greg Gattuso (Albany), John Grass (Jacksonville State), Everett Withers (James Madison), Lee Hull (Morgan State), Jody Sears (Sacramento State), K.C. Keeler (Sam Houston State) and Clint Conque (Central Arkansas). The big-name changes after this season included former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini stepping into a ready-to-go situation at Youngstown State, Brian Jenkins leaving Bethune-Cookman for Alabama State and Bob Stitt replacing the retiring Mick Delaney at Montana. 1. Valley Boys - The Missouri Valley Football Conference basically lapped the field in remaining the nations best FCS conference. With co-champions Illinois State and North Dakota State set to square off in the national championship game, the Missouri Valley is the first conference to have both national finalists (national playoffs began in the 1978 season). Valley teams went 30-2 against non-conference opponents - losing only to Top 10 teams - and the conference tied the FCS record with five playoff qualifiers. Indiana State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State also participated in the playoffs, while Youngstown State ended the regular season ranked in the Top 25 despite not reaching the postseason. The only team to beat either Illinois State or NDSU is Northern Iowa. Its been pure dominance out of the Valley. 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