Riders release four, including former Broncos’ draft pick Keishawn Bierria

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have released four practice roster players, including American linebacker Keishawn Bierria, national linebacker Jared Beeksma, American receiver Dieuly Aristilde Jr., and national defensive lineman Alain Cimankinda.

The most recognizable name of the group, Bierria signed with the Riders late last month and dressed in two games without getting on the stat sheet. He played 13 games for the Edmonton Elks in 2021, recording 50 tackles, two sacks and one interception.

Bierra was selected by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round, 217th overall during the 2018 NFL Draft. He saw action in all 16 regular season games for the Broncos as a rookie and made five tackles. In 2019, the California native spent time with Denver, Jacksonville and Arizona, suiting up for five games.

Bierria played four NCAA seasons at the University of Washington (2014-2017), racking up 240 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, seven-and-a-half sacks, four defended passes, four forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries over 50 games. The former Husky was named Second-Team All-Pac-12 in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Cimankinda was selected by the Roughriders in the fourth round, 35th overall, of the 2021 CFL Draft and spent the entirety of that season on the practice squad. He was released the following rookie camp in 2022 but brought back during the team’s recent COVID outbreak, playing one game.

Collegiately, Cimankinda spent three seasons (2017-20) with the Guelph Gryphons, making 81 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 30 games. In 2019, he was named a Second-Team OUA All-Star.

A fellow Guelph product, Beeksma was drafted by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the fifth round, 46th overall, of the 2022 CFL Draft and spent time on the team’s practice roster before being released. The six-foot-two, 220-pound linebacker also signed with the Riders as insurance during their Week 7 struggles but did not play in the game.

The 24-year-old played four seasons (2017-21) for the Gryphons, recording 77 solo tackles, three sacks, one fumble recovery, three interceptions and six pass breakups in 39 games.

Aristilde Jr. dressed in just one game for the Riders and recorded no catches on two targets.

The six-foot-four, 215-pound Florida native played at Bethel University this past season, starting 11 games. He recorded 32 receptions for 768 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 24 yards per catch. Aristilde spent his first two college seasons (2016-17) at Eastern Michigan, playing in 14 games and making 32 catches for 571 yards and two touchdowns.

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