He retired. He was likely our best candidate off the edge.

Give this some thought. Were the Roughies telling Hawkins that they would have to release him prior to camp? Did they have this chat and Hawk decided to retire?

Does his retirement create cap space to get Chick. Make no bones about it that the Riders can't afford Chick unless some money is freed up? They have several high priced O-lineman, Darian, Dressler and Geroy. Someone that makes enough glue needs to go if they are pursuing John Chick. And Chick is hanging onto hopes of another NFL deal?

Maybe Hawkins just felt he would pursue life after football. His potential retirement came up last season but he felt a good vibe from the new coach and wanted to play on.

Just the timing seems weird? But if the Riders can't replace the guy the timing is bad!!!!!! They are already guessing and hoping a few D-lineman stepup?

yep,, rush end position just got even sparser ...

The Riders spent a lot of the off season looking at a lot of new import DEs coming from many different back grounds, NCAA rookies, NFL free agents, NFL practice roster guys, Arena, etc. going to mini camp may have brought to light just how much talent they brought in with the bulk of guys that they have signed.
Then of course there is the John Chick possibility.
There are so many really good football imports out there that are caught in between and the Riders used this strategy last year for the import portion of their roster finding Sheets and a couple of DBs. The Receiver/Retuner spot was also a position they did this with but did not find quite as much success although Sanders was able to fill all of these spots but injuries interupted his first yea but Riders got a chance to see what he can do when healthy and it was really great.
DE pass rush was a true need not just for the Riders but with every CFL and NFL team. Bringing in Foley coming into the rotationas a pass rush specialist in the rotationopens up two spots for import DEs for the rotation and possibily a 3rd future player to groom on the PR or a solid back up on the 46 as a health scratch.
Also looking at bringin alon canadian Wellman slow aking a possible Canadian PR spot.

Hawkins contemplated not playing last season, but didn't want injury to be the cause of his retirement. He actually did not make the final decision to play until about 5 weeks before camp then.

I am sure that there was some discussions going into camp, and that there were likely other contributing factors to this decision.

from a couple weeks back:

[url=http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/football/roughriders-football/Brent+Hawkins+says+ready+Roughriders/8341580/story.html]http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/footba ... story.html[/url]

Honestly, I believe they told him he was at risk of not making the club, so he retired. I am not shocked by this announcement at all. There has been speculation about it for some time.

I am not really surprised or bothered by this.. I was actually surprised he was still on the team! He couldn't stay healthy and as a result even when he was playing he never looked that good.. He had about a 5 or 6 game period before his first shoulder injury where he looked like he would be a good DE but he was never the same after he got injured..

It was sad to see so much talent go down the drain due to nagging injuries.. I believe those 5 or 6 games where he showed how good he could be kept him on the Riders longer than he should have been, because sadly enough he just was never effective again.

This was the best move for him and the Riders, I wish him luck in his other endeavour's and I thank him for his time as a Rider but he was taking a possible roster spot for someone who could actually play at full speed as well as continually putting himself at risk of aggravating his injury over and over again..