Keith signs with Colts

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TORONTO (CP) -- Kent Austin can expect to begin his first season as the Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach without running back Kenton Keith.

A CFL source requesting anonymity said Tuesday that Keith has agreed to a deal with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts. Contract details weren't immediately available, but if Keith makes the Colts' roster, he will certainly earn substantially more than he would've in Saskatchewan considering the NFL rookie minimum salary this year is US$275,000.

Keith can sign with Indianapolis because he's entering the option year of his CFL deal. Players in Canada such as Keith have until Feb. 15 to sign NFL deals or else go back to their CFL team and play out their option. If Keith is released by Indianapolis, then he would have to return to Saskatchewan.

Keith, 26, rushed for 1,037 yards this season with Saskatchewan, his sixth in the CFL and fifth in Regina. He also added 52 catches for 513 yards and three TDs and was a West Division all-star and the club's nominee for the CFL's outstanding player award.

The five-foot-11, 200-pound Keith joined the Roughriders as a free agent in 2002 following his collegiate career at New Mexico State. Keith is cousins with former NFL star Roger Craig.

This will mark Keith's second attempt to crack an NFL roster. He signed with the New York Jets in 2004, but returned to Saskatchewan after being released.

Keith enjoyed his best CFL campaign that year, rushing for 1,154 yards (averaging 6.1 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns.

Sad to see KK sign, but Tillman has found exceptional RB's in the past (Ranek)so I'm not worried. Also, having Dorsey and Bracey gives us a good base to start from!

i was just wondering if he was ask to find new employment now that we have a new HC? 8)

Well..........given Austin's well-established antipathy to the running game, anything is possible I suppose (but if that was the case, wouldn't trading him have been better than suggesting he seek a job in the NFL?)

No. 100% no, Kenton was wanted back. there is absolutely no doubt about that. Austin always included running backs in passing as well, and Kenton is deadly out of the backfield.
there is no way that they asked him to leave

Even though KK had his bad incidents, he has cleaned up his act and put his focus on football. Austin would be able to get KK to be an excellent cog in the offense. KK will be welcomed back IF he doesn't stick with the Colts.

The Riders offered KK a large sum of money (plus signing bonus), but he refused the offer and wend down south. I think the Riders did try to keep him here, but now it sounds like he won't be coming back.

Congrats KK for your sake i hope you do great for ours I hope you dont.Your a big reason why i watch CFL football

Best of luck Kenton.

I'm content with developing Bracey and Dorsey to be our running backs next season. If these guys can't carry the load, one of Edmonton's running backs may be available after training camp because I'm not sure they can keep Davis, Ranek, and Warren while keeping them all happy.

Keith will be missed! But I don't think for very long! Running backs seem to develop and integrate rather quickly in an offensive scheme. Bracey and Dorsey have already seen a little action. I don't think losing Keith is a huge blow. Maybe with the money we save with Keith's salary we can secure Omar Morgan! Keeping him is important as Eddie Davis won't be around for much longer.