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Argos release veteran linebacker Bear Woods

TORONTO — One of the anchors of the Toronto Argonauts’ defence over the last two seasons has been released as veteran linebacker Bear Woods was cut on Thursday.

The release comes four months after Woods and the Argos agreed on a one-year contract extension and three days before veterans are set to report to training camp.

Woods, 32, played in only 4 games for the Argos in 2018 due to injury tallying 29 tackles, including three straight games with nine tackles each. The six-foot, 245-pound native of Macclenny, Fla. was originally signed by Toronto on May 31, 2017.

Woods’ first season with the Argos saw the Troy University product play in 17 games, recording 90 defensive tackles and two sacks during the regular-season and six tackles in the postseason to help bring the Grey Cup back to Toronto.

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The veteran linebacker spent six seasons with Montreal before coming to Toronto and was twice selected as a CFL All-Star and was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2014 and 2016. Woods’ 126 defensive tackles in 2016 is the sixth highest total all-time.

Prior to joining the Alouettes, Woods spent the 2010 season as a member of the Atlanta Falcons practice squad. He joined Montreal as a free agent late in the 2011 season and made his CFL debut in the 2011 Eastern Final against the Tiger-Cats.