Former linebacker Solomon Elimimian announces his retirement after 10 CFL campaigns

Solomon Elimimian, the only pure defensive player to win the CFL’s outstanding player award, is calling it a career.

The veteran linebacker confirmed Tuesday he has retired.

The six-foot, 225-pound Elimimian played 10 CFL seasons with the B.C. Lions (2010-18) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (2019). He amassed 833 tackles in 133 career games with 36 special-teams tackles, 33 sacks, eight interceptions and nine forced fumbles.

Elimimian, 34, who played collegiately at Hawaii for former Hamilton head coach June Jones, had a decorated CFL career. He was named the league’s top rookie in 2010 and the following season earned his only Grey Cup title with B.C.

In 2014, he was both the CFL’s top defensive player and outstanding performer after registering a then-record 143 tackles. He became the only pure defensive player to claim the league’s top individual award.

He captured a second outstanding defensive player honour in 2016 and the following year broke his CFL record for most tackles in a season (144).

B.C. released Elimimian in April 2019. He joined the Riders and posted 88 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble as Saskatchewan (13-5) finished atop the West Division before dropping a 20-13 decision to eventual Grey Cup-champion Winnipeg in the conference final.

Elimimian was a four-time CFL all-star and a six-time West Division all-star. He’s currently the president of the CFL Players’ Association.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2021

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