REGINA -- Just days after winning the Grey Cup, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have cleaned out their lockers knowing some players from their successful core may not be back.
Star running back Kory Sheets and slotback Weston Dressler -- one of quarterback Darian Durant's favourite targets -- will both become free agents in the off-season.
Other players could be lost when Ottawa starts stockpiling its roster with picks from the CFL expansion draft. The existing eight teams will protect a certain number of players, with the Redblacks allowed to pick from those left unprotected.
Durant would like to see some key players stay in Saskatchewan, such as Dressler, his neighbour in the locker-room.
"I want the whole nucleus to be together. We've been together since '08," Durant said Tuesday.
"We put in the time, put in the years so I definitely want him back. I know he'll probably explore some opportunities that may be out there for him down south and if it doesn't work out then I think he'll be back. This is the place for him. That chemistry we have... you saw it throughout the playoffs, and hopefully we'll get something done."
Dressler, who went to the University of North Dakota, joined the Riders in 2008. He has spent his entire career in Saskatchewan. He had a league high 13 receiving touchdowns in 2012.
The receiver says he's just enjoying the experience of winning the Grey Cup right now, but he also says he would take a look at heading south for the NFL.
"If the right opportunity presented itself, I would definitely take a look at it and have to consider all my options at that point..." said Dressler.
Sheets captured MVP honours after rushing for a record 197 yards and two touchdowns in the Grey Cup win on Sunday.
-- The Canadian Press