Surprisng ? or not so Surprising early cuts.

Jonathon Hefney Winnipeg DB. - Surprising in that he is a good player and recent all star. Not so surprising in his attitude. Burke made it public that the DBs better shape up or they will ship out. Hefney already starting off in bad terms from Burke for his refusal to play Sam LB which caused huge amount of problems for the entire season.
To me it is not so surprising that he was the one made an example of.

Pacino Horne Toronto DB - in the wake of a great first season in the CFL and playing a great Grey Cup game Horne is on the outside looking in. Horne was not on time for camp for reason's still yet unknown so whatever is going on may have likely led to his release.
So it was probably a surprise for the Argos who were probably counting on him to come back even better than last year and that would be expecially important with McCoulogh gone in free agency.

Quincy Hurst Toronto WR/return specialists/special teams - All reports since mini camp had Hurst as being much imporved healthy and on top of his game. He may not have been ready to start at Rec but certainly appeared similar to Chad Owens and was being looked at as a returner. Also there was talk last year and this that his speed and strenrth for a smaller player made him a great potential gunner on special teams while honing his receiveng skills. What makes it even more surprising to me is that he is a Canadian player whose verasatility on special teams as well as his potential to be another speedster rec like owens made for a better than avg Canadian Player to fill one of those 20 roster spots.
I am not so sure whats going on with the Hurst situation but from all reports things looked great perhaps he could not get the offense and they are looking in other diriection with import Trent Guy to help Owens with return duties.
It is just hunch but I would not be surprised to see him getting a shot in Saskatchewan. They had a similar player last year in Ismael Bamba in which just did not seem to have much sense. With Hurst being a possible return guy as well as a punt team gunner as was talked about with Bamba last season Hurst could be that guy as the Riders are also looking for some depth in the Canadian Rec situation with there best right now being much injured Rob Bagg and so far underachieving Jordan Sisco and Getz who will start but still is being heckled about early season dropsies.

Levi Brown Saskatchewan QB - not so surprising to me. he came in with a little hype certainly more then the two who got onto the roster last year in back up Drew Willy and NFL 10 year veteran JT O'sullivan. Not looking so hot in the pre season game and the new QB looking much better if he could not win the 3rd spot not much reason to keep him around as the number 4 again. He was supposed to be giving Drew Willy a run for his money as the #2 guy

Daryl Stephanson Hamilton FB/TE - Surprising to me I guess because he is one of my favorite players. After years of being just a special teamer he was finally moved to the top FB spot with Hamilton and the last few games they began using him as a skill player as a TE receiving passes and at 6'2" he would not be the size of an NFL TE but for the CFL right now great blocking ability as noted by many teamates his forgotten as a skill position player rushing for 5,000 yards at Windsor.
I think it could be a case of Austin just bringing in his own guy in former UCONN TE John Delahunt who is a little bigger and played TE in College but I thought there would be room for both on the Canadian portion of the roster for sure.
I suspect a player like Stephanson will not be out there too long being a top special teams player, a great Blocker and just beginning to find his niche as a TE as well.

Riders -Kenny Rowe - figured he was a cut...figure it as after 2nd game.

Bombers - Hefney - Well, not allowing strike 3

Esks - Ismael Bamba

Stamps - Terence Jeffers-Harris

Als - Dominic Rhodes, CJ Washington

Rhodes had no chance once Whitaker was resigned. That move showed whitaker was healthy enough to play, and with Messam there as well, he wasn't going to get touches so no need to keep rhodes around.

Hefney - posted negative comments during contract negotiations, negative twitter comments about the bombers last year after losing a couple of their own FAs leading to a fine, fined a second time last year for posting a provacative/lewd photo on his twitter after having already been fined the first time and warned to be careful what he posts, balked at a position switch last year after the release of Clint Kent, pot bust, balked at a position switch for the second time putting his own needs ahead of what was best for the team. I think he's a bit past strike 3. Plus I'm sure there's a few more things that haven't been made public.

TJH had a promising rookie season with the bombers. Since then he's bounced around and hasn't found a home. A little success led to a big ego from which he has never recovered. The problem for him - young receivers are easy to find and receiver is probably one of the easier positions for imports to learn.

Surprises for me, Hefney was still a surprise since they didn't not release him immediate on the news of his pre TC arrest and coming so soon after a sort of vote of confidence in the player. Levi Brown was a surprise just because it's not typical to see a team dump a QB after the first preseason game. Pacino Horne. Daryl Stephenson was a mild surprise. He found a role in Cortez's offense last year, but no such luck with Austin. Maybe he convinces the Riders to give him a look.

Cortez may indeed want to bring in Stepanson just like austin let Stepanson go for his own guy he brought in to play that position Cortez may do the same thing with a very popular Neil Hughes now being considerd undersized height wise to play the TE role and those las few games as you mentioned Stephanson really played well as a TE not only being a great blocker but also bringing out his skill player ability that he had at Windsor where he rushed for 5,000 yards. Alos being younger than Hughes Stepnason is a great special teams player so the new special teams coach could also be ok with the move as he would lose nothing on special teams with stepanson replacing Hughes.
Also could be a big help with the ratio as the slim Canadian Receivers TE formation could be used more often with stepanson being a Canadian and was really good in the red zone like many good TEs are

I think they will go with Moore and McHenry in their tight end packages (just based on observations during preseason and the training camp). Moore looks like he is going to be a force; great blocker and appears to have a good set of hands.

I haven't seen any real surprising cuts just yet. Hefney is probably the closest, but you know he was walking on that line with his negativity being posted publicly for all to see.

Not sure why people think HEFNEY is surprising... i'd say its the least surprising of them all actually.

I agree McHenry is definitely moving into FB/TE and Moore looks like he is really goin to be a force but right now Stephanson may be better and more experience than both of them in that FB/TE position having really taken to it quickly last year. So I wonder if Cortez would want Stephansob as well. Hamilton and the Riders both began the seasopn with 3 FBs on the roster mostly being used for special teams. mchenry had to move out to WR for injuries and Hamilton once they dressed both cobourne and Walker they traded Brown.
It could also be possiblwe that Cortez may want stephanson and Mchenry and start with Moore on the practice roster for the first half of the season and then make a move to put moore on the roster on the second half of the season with all three or if one is injured

I think many people said it the best surprising because he is all star calibre but way less surprising with his bad selfish attitude. I guess there was a small chance that he would get it together after the public warning that was pretty much made at him first and Johnson second.. So your right not so surprising when Burke decide enough was enough.
Hefney was still under the old school mentality that once an all star meant not replacable but over the past few seasons and especially last year there are a lot of NFL free agents and NCAA rookies who may have just gotten pushed aside due to the NFL height standard that are real good real fast in the CFL where often smaller and faster is way bettter.
The CFL does of its share of big receivers but also its share of smaller faster Owens and dressler types so these overlooked NCAA guys or 3 year bubble NFL free agents are coming in and having success right away

Stephenson reunited with Cortez in Riderville.

http://www.cfl.ca/article/riders-add-canadian-rb-daryl-stephenson

A nice sized NI RB, something the Riders have lacked in some time. Cortez must like him to pick him up that fast

As metioned earlier by myself and others that Stepanson was indeed in favor of Cortez as the Riders have jus signed the Canadian RB/FB/ST player without a position in the CFL with the demise of the FB and the inception of the 5th receiver but last year began to see a change with the old stumpy FB on his way out and the Bigger 6'2- 6'3" players like Lavoio having a great amount of success playing as a TE and during the last part of the seasonCortez began to use Stephanson in that role and not only was he a great blocker but also a good set of hands and the ability to getopen in the end zone.This could change the Riders offense a bitg with McHenry working out at that spot as well as the big 6'4" rookie from Western.
Cortez used this but the Riders also used some double and single TE sets to give Durant more protection but heither of the old school FB were much of a receiving threat not true this year with 3 such players.
Could also change the dynamic and offensive set. With the use of a Canadian TE as one of the Riders standard offensive formations there will be less need to have as much production out of projected #3 canadian receiver Sisco who would be back up to both Getz and Bagg.
Flying under the radar the last few seasons was Cote in Calgary who also was used as a TE especially in the red zone.

Quinton Porter WOW this is a surprise Neiswander did not look good at all in his pre season early action in game one. Porter was one for two in games. Who does this leave the Als with at QB behind AC. Has Neiwswander had a great camp that has not really been talked about.