The Calgary Stampeders released quarterback Ben Sankey and defensive back Richard Karikari, linebacker Saleem Rasheed and defensive lineman Howard Hodges on Monday.
''I would like to thank these four players for their efforts in helping us win the Grey Cup in 2008 and wish them the best in their future endeavours,'' said Stamps head coach/general manager John Hufnagel. ''We've managed to keep our nucleus mainly intact for 2009 and we'll have more announcements in the coming weeks to fill out the rest of the roster.''
Sankey, who has had two previous stints with the Stampeders, stepped into the back-up role behind Henry Burris when Dave Dickenson went down with a concussion midway through last season. He has played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and B.C. Lions.
Karikari signed as a free agent last season but only managed three tackles and one fumble recovery. The StFX product began his CFL career with the Montreal Alouettes in 2003.
Rasheed registered 28 tackles for the Grey Cup champions last season and Hodges picked up four sacks.