Two big-name Montreal Alouettes players are seriously contemplating retirement.
Veterans Chip Cox and Nik Lewis could hang up the cleats according to Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky.
Cox suffered a season-ending knee injury during an October 9 game last season and the Als placed him on the retirement list.
“If I come back and play, I’m going to be just as good as I ever was. I haven’t lost anything. That’s what I do know about myself,” Cox told Zurkowsky on Monday from his home in Columbus, Ohio. “I feel like I can still play at a very high level. I know everybody says that but … I think of myself as a realist. I think I can still play at a high level.”
The 34-year-old defender can unretire and technically would be a free agent if he did that, but there is nowhere else Cox would rather play.
“I’ve been in Montreal my whole career. I enjoy it. The franchise means a lot to me,” he said.
Cox has played all 12 of his CFL seasons with the Alouettes making 848 defensive tackles, 27 sacks, 25 forced fumbles, 23 interceptions and scoring six defensive touchdowns while adding 91 special teams tackles. Only one other season has the veteran missed a game that was in 2010. The 2013 CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player was a talent evaluator for Montreal during the off-season.
“You got to sit down and got to watch for players that could fit into a certain league. You look for certain skills because the CFL is so much different than other leagues,” he explained. “Because of the size of the field, it brings a whole different light to the game.
“I enjoyed doing it. I don’t know if I was any good at it, but I enjoyed doing it.”
Meanwhile, Lewis received a $30,000 off-season bonus reports Zurkowsky. He told Zurkowsky the chances of playing in 2018 are “one percent”. Lewis has played 14 CFL seasons, 11 for the Calgary Stampeders, hauling in 1,051 passes which are the league’s all-time career receptions mark for 13,778 yards and 71 touchdowns in 226 games.
“There’s a great possibility I’ll be there on Sunday. I don’t know if it’ll be as a player. That’s what I’m trying to figure out,” Lewis said from his Regina home. “We’ve talked about what my role would be … what I would be interested in doing. I sent a job description. To my knowledge, they liked it.
“Something has to happen,” he added. “If I pass a physical on Saturday, I’ll be expecting another cheque. I feel great.”