Nik Lewis on retirement: ‘I’ve come to terms with it’

Nik Lewis has made it official: he is retiring from professional football.

“That decision has been made a while back. I’ve come to terms with it. It’s something that you can’t just wake up one day…I didn’t want to allow myself to go back and forth on playing, not playing so I’ve pretty much made up my mind, I’m good, I don’t need to play anymore. So time to move forward,” Lewis told Jock Wilson on 770 CHQR in Calgary.

Lewis, who has played in 226 CFL games, he knew he was done in March and acknowledged the pursuit of the all-time reception record kept him playing towards the end of his career. The 35-year-old broke the career catach mark in 2017 and finishes his playing days with 1,051 catches. Lewis also ranks fifth in receiving yards in CFL history at 13,778, which is 2,574 yards behind leader Geroy Simon (16,352).

“Actually, it even motivated me to come back just thinking about the records and climbing that chart the past couple years and really just realizing that I’m not catching Geroy,” Lewis said.

“I feel like I could play another year, two years. My body feels good, I feel great. It’s time to move forward. There are a lot of factors: new coaching staff, possibly a new quarterback, not knowing what’s going to happen. A lot of factors play into what your mindset is on coming back.”

New Als head coach Mike Sherman factored into the retirement decision for Lewis, which led to him taking more time while collecting a $30,000 off-season bonus in January and then making the final call.

“I don’t know [Sherman] at all, never met him, never talked to him. It’s a feel thing. I don’t think I’m a hard person to get along with right now. Not knowing the full coaching staff until after I got the bonus, that played a part.”

Lewis has spoken with the Montreal Alouettes about other possible roles.

“The process of either becoming a GM one day or becoming a coach one day it’s all about learning. If I can learn both sides at the same time I can get a great jump on it. It’s pretty wide open right now. I want to be used and be valuable and not just be around. The talks have been good – we’ll see here in the next couple days,” Lewis said.

“I’ve always liked the leadership role understanding that a lot of the time the guys could use an ex-player to relate to. Someone that can go back and forth between coaches and front office for the players – I’ve seen a lot, I’ve done a lot, I’ve been hated, I’ve been loved. Anything I can help a team be more efficient that’s a role that I’m looking for.”

Lewis is still under contract with the Alouettes and needs to be released first before he could pursue opportunities with other CFL franchises. He expects that to happen in the “next couple days”.

The gregarious pass catcher wants to be remembered by one word.

“Consistent – that’s it. Being consistently good creates greatness. You don’t have to be the fastest, you don’t have to be the biggest – you just have to be consistently good. Consistently know what you’re doing, consistently do what you’re supposed to do and consistently make the play and that’s it week after week,” Lewis said.

“My teammates never had to question what they were going to get out of me on game day. It’s pretty well documented the type of entertainment or the type of way I was going to play week to week.”

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64 Comments on Nik Lewis on retirement: ‘I’ve come to terms with it’

  1. Nik, Thank you for bringing joy and excitement to CFL fans all these years.
    Look forward to seeing you somewhere in the CFL coaching/management world!

  2. Thought Nik said his good byes last fall on his final game? Old news is new news I guess in regards to this article.

    • I laughed at this too… he’s retired until someone fires an offer his way and he’d be all over it. He’s been consistent, with an eye for the ball and his surroundings… and able to squeeze out that extra yard. Been a great player and never saw a smoked meat sandwich he didn’t like!!

      • As far as his weight is concerned, football is the one team sport I know of that finds a niche for EVERY body type: from skinny little runts who run fast, to 350lb behemoths who REALLY don’t.

        It always struck me as ironik that folks would pick on Lewis’ weight, when he obviously put it to good use. Leverage and momentum are the two greatest elements in football. Lewis is no dummy. If you can’t run around guys, or jump over them, then plow through them. Got us a lot of 1st downs.

        Cheap shots have no place in the CFL.

  3. But of course he’ll keep that bonus….

  4. CFL lover // May 15, 2018 at 10:35 am //

    He is/was a great player and has certainly earned the respect of all true football fans, the haters will do or say what they will but it won’t change the fact that Nik Lewis made the league a brighter place when he was in the field. Good luck Nik, hope to see you in this league in some capacity for a very long time.

  5. Atta boy thick Nic. Time for you to enjoy your retirement. Also happy he is a Regina resident. Obviously this place isn’t as bad as some people think it is.

    • I am sure he won’t miss Matt Dunigan calling him Thick Nic – might be one of the most unflattering nicknames in all of sports.

      • @ Mark
        I’m not sure about that. Nik Lewis seemed OK with it, and perfectly willing to adapt his game to his age and “bodily circumstances”. As an Alouettes, he came as close as anyone to resurrecting the CFL’s use of the “true” tight end: blocker on running plays and downfield, short yardage possession receiver, someone who could release from a block and be a dependable receiver who could bull people over for that 1st down.: and right to the end-no slouch at any of the nasty, gritty duties your receiver-thoroughbreds generally shy away from.

        I used to love to replay games and isolate on Lewis. He was always doing something, even if it was just wiping out a rush end with a nasty block.

        Many thanks for all your efforts Nik. Sorry this &^$#@#% Alouettes team didn’t deserve half of what you did.

    • Thats interesting, how’d he end up in Regina?

  6. Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 10:54 am //

    Nik should keep the bonus. His retirement was no surprise and Reed should have taken action last January if he didn’t want him to have it.
    Rider fans love him now just because his wife is from Regina. A few years ago the were all telling to him ” I hope your career is over fatty” as he was being carted of the Mosaic turf.
    Fickle

    • Awe look at little Reddy defend his mancrush about keeping a bonus. Isn’t that cute. You have the brain capacity of a mosquito Reddy.

    • Red is a Moron // May 15, 2018 at 12:31 pm //

      ha ha you are such a fool Red. You displayed your abuse towards Durant for keeping his bonus and said he should give it back and now you say Nik should keep his bonus. THIS IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING, and again you spout off garbage and inconsistency in every one of your posts. Ya ya, I know your comeback, it will be that they were completely different circumstances and my answer to that is , you have no clue what the conditions were of either contract so dont even go there. You act as if you know every player, know every contract and know everything about all the team sand players when in reality, all you do is make up garbage and think it is true. You have some real mental issues man!!! Again, you shoot off your mouth and now put your foot in in.

      • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 12:42 pm //

        It’s night and day!!! Come on!
        It’s been well believed Nik was retiring, in fact he pretty much said so in his last game of 2017. Reed should have released him prior to the bonus deadline.
        Darian, at no time hinted at retirement he left the team high and dry

        • Take this // May 15, 2018 at 1:13 pm //

          Durant was not slated to be the starting quarterback go that is not exactly leaving them high and dry. How about a few of the Stamps that have retired in the last few years well into the off season because there bodies were telling them to quit. Exactly the same thing. Hiğh and dry? Or honourable because they wore red?

          • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 1:43 pm //

            Who says any of those Stamps where due bonuses?
            Every single stamp retirement was expected. Even Buckley wasn’t all that unexpected, his desire for medical school was well known.
            Whether Durant was a projected backup or not is irrelevant.He was in the plans for 2018

          • Puck Hog // May 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm //

            Shut up, Red.

  7. Not sure why the Als would leave this up to the player. Lewis was no help on the field anymore. Way too slow

  8. Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 11:08 am //

    This guy could hurdle over a 6 foot tall man. How many of you skinny guys could do that??

  9. Howard Wulkan // May 15, 2018 at 11:10 am //

    “Lewis, who has played in 226 CFL games, he knew he was done in March…”

    “The 35-year-old broke the career catach mark in 2017…”

    Another poorly-edited article brought to you by 3 Down Nation. Keep up the half-assed work!

  10. White Horse // May 15, 2018 at 11:24 am //

    Nik was a total nasty charging bull after catching a pass. He certainly was consistent. I never liked his antics during a game. He thought he was very entertaining but not in my mind. I hope you retire a Stampeder Nik..see you on the wall of fame at McMahon.

  11. Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 11:24 am //

    Even in the dark era of the Michael Fetrik some goodness fell- thanks again football Gods, for making McMahon your home and the Stampeders your team
    Credit Matt Dunigan for bring him into the league.

  12. Green Apples // May 15, 2018 at 11:30 am //

    Definitely a CFL great. Congrats on a great career Nick.

  13. Lewis was always fun. As I Riders fan I love to hate him. He would always engage the fans and he is a solid family man. It’s a shame Stamps fans totally spurned him, shame on fickle Stamps fans for jeering such a great guy after he left.

    • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 11:38 am //

      Business is business. Calgary remains relative because they do move on from players.
      No Stamp fan jeered him.

      • How do you know that Red? You act as if Stamps fans can do no wrong, but the reality is all fan bases do it and I’ve personally been at McMah when it’s happened. Are you calling me a liar? Get over yourself and pull your head out of the sand snowflake. Again, you embarrass yourself daily.

        • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 12:07 pm //

          I’m sure there is a small fraction of people like that. Non season tickets holders on a cheap package from a local bar.

          • No when I go to games at McMahon I sit in season ticket holder country with my friend who has had seasons for 15 years. So there goes your latest excuse out the window per usual. What else ya got? Don’t even bother Red, youre a sad sack of sh*t anyway.

        • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm //

          lol whatever you say

      • Huf, Wally and most GM/HC who know their stuff, make yearly appraisals of whether players are downward/upward trending. It’s arguably what keeps their franchises within reach of a Cup and a lack of same – or franchises who sign other teams’ “downwards trenders” are generally treading water or on their way to drowning.

        Ladies and gentlemen: I give you the Montreal Alouettes. Buyers of other teams’ retreads, rejects and instead of stars of the future: stars of the distant past.

        La Honte de la LCF.

        • Mr Red. // May 15, 2018 at 12:31 pm //

          riders are doing exactly the same thing

          • Jerimiah was a bullfrog // May 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm //

            Not near as much as the stampeders are. Hell after the Riders released offensive lineman Derek Dennis who played horribly all year in 2017. Especially when Charleston Hugh’s made him look like a high school player. Don’t try and be so blind red. You’ll see 2018 is going to come hard and fast and your going to be left wondering what the hell happened.

          • Jerimiah well said. I’m pretty sure little Red there called Dennis a chump when he left. As soon as he completely bombed in his one year as a Rider. Huffy resigns him back and now is the best tackle in the league all the sudden. The thing that changes now, instead of getting beat in a Green jersey by Hughes. It’s going to be in a Red jersey this year.

  14. Franchises that are on the sliding downward path to obscurity make it a habit of signing ex-stars from other teams. It acknowledges the broken nature of the entire organization. And it’s the diametric opposite of the way you build a Championship team; by signing and developing young stars of the future. It has been so as long as I’ve been watching the CFL.

    When the Alouettes first brought in Lewis, along with Fred Stamps from the Eskimos and Giguere from who-knows-where, I thought Lewis was just another one of those players on that downward slope towards irrelevance.

    And yet, with his leadership, hard work, and determination to make a difference on the field, using whatever skills he possessed, Lewis was a positive force, one of the few on this Alouttes squad over he past few seasons.

    I’m happy to say I was wrong. And I hope the Alouettes realize his value still. He would make a fine addition to any coaching staff.

  15. Edward Leslie // May 15, 2018 at 1:08 pm //

    There’s a huge difference between Nik Lewis’s bonus and Darian Durant’s.
    First of all the Nik Lewis bonus is just $30,000, and Durant’s was $70,000.
    Secondly, Lewis earned his bonus by putting in three seasons in Montreal and serving the Alouettes organization well.
    Durant, on the other hand, didn’t do anything to earn a bonus in Winnipeg. He didn’t even bother to contact General Manager Kyle Walters. You know? The guy who gave him the seventy Gs.
    Nik Lewis= Class. Darian Durant… Not so much.

    • Actually, Durant’s agent tried to contact the Bombers but Ky Walters couldn’t be bothered to return the phone call cause he was on vacation.

      • Provemewrong // May 15, 2018 at 7:41 pm //

        IQ of 51. Exactly, the man was on vacation. Dud-rant should have waited a day or so to “announce” that he was through with football 5 years ago. I don’t have an issue with him keeping the money, he just showed slider class in slagging the Bombers when it whole issue would have been a non issue if the dumb dumb would have waited 48 hours.

        • What kind of a puss GM goes on “vacation” and doesn’t return phone calls a week before training camp?

          Anybody think Chris Jones was on “vacation” and not returning calls last week? By his own admission, Jones took a weekend off for Christmas, New Years and Easter. That’s it.

          Ky Walters and his “vacation” is another example of why the Bombers have had 28 years and counting of failure.

    • Is it called a signing bonus or a playing bonus?

  16. A word of advice for Fatty Lewis – – if you’re serious about getting into coaching or management stay far, FAR, away from that dumpster fire in Montreal.

    Impossible as it seems, Montreal may be even worse this year and you do not want to associate yourself in any way with that gong show.

    Everyone there – – coach, GM, coordinators, assistants – – is going to be euthanized either this year or next. A young coach just starting out cannot afford to have this kind of debacle on his resume.

  17. Jerimiah was a bullfrog // May 15, 2018 at 1:41 pm //

    Edward have you heard of an Agent? That’s who contacts the GM. Not the player. If the GM want to talk to the player than he tells the agent to mKe it happen.
    So Lewis is ok to keep the $30K that is paid for season 2018…. it has nothing to do with 2017,16,15. It’s paid for this coming year. So you go ahead and justify all you want. The facts are a bonus is paid and it’s cslled a bonus. It’s not called you owe us money. So don’t try using a ridiculous comment to make one player keeping his bonus over another. Why was it ok for Montreal to cut Darian the day before he was owed his $140K bonus? It wasn’t ok. All teams do it every year. So when a player get his bonus they are not giving it back. As they have probably had theirs taken on them one time or another. Don’t be so blinded by one side!

  18. Nik. You were a force of nature when you played. Can’t imagine getting between you and a first down! You were some fierce. Time to turn the page. All best wishes.

  19. Rhubarb Pie // May 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm //

    Don Foley callin’ it as he sees it. I’m liking you now man. You know your shiz. Your bro one of my fave players. All the best.

  20. Edward Leslie // May 15, 2018 at 5:45 pm //

    Rhubarb pie: I think there are otger ingredients in that pie besides rhubarb!

  21. Edward Leslie // May 15, 2018 at 5:51 pm //

    Jerimiah:
    An agent is there to take care of business. Contract negotiations and things like that.
    A retirement announcement shouldn’t be so impersonal. Even if Walters wasn’t available, I’m sure others high up in the Bombers organization, like Danny Mcmanus or Mike O’Shea would’ve been
    available. I’m not buying Durant’s excuse.

    Just consider Nik Lewis got a PERFORMANCE bonus. Durant never even went to mini camp with Winnipeg. His only performance was putting pennto paper to sign his contract… unless his agent did that for him too!

    • Rhubarb Pie // May 15, 2018 at 9:28 pm //

      Edward it’s chain of command. Durant’s agent won’t call up O’Shea to do the GMs job. Come on man!

  22. habbernack // May 15, 2018 at 8:45 pm //

    He would make a great receivers coach

  23. All the best to Nik in the future. I like the idea of him being a radio colour guy, or a coach in training, or with TSN, or ….

  24. C Stephen Cassin // May 15, 2018 at 10:22 pm //

    Simply the best. Its been a pleasure watching your career over the years and I got to watch lots of it live. The Lewis and Copeland years will remain my favourite. Consistently entertaining Thanks for all of it.

  25. Colour me green // May 16, 2018 at 12:15 am //

    Congrats to Nik on a great career. To bad it wasn’t in Regina, you’d have a big fan base and job opportunities here like a lot of retired players find out. Sadly just another player in Calgary that people have no clue played for Calgary. Hell most haven’t heard if the team.
    All the best moving forward Nik, be seeing you around town until you land a job with a team.

    • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 12:54 am //

      Nik Lewis was very recognizable in Calgary. What great jobs exist in Regina? Government? Working at Home hardware??

  26. Fatty Lewis should be the new pitch man for Subway since the last blob didn’t work out so well for them.

  27. Scottsask // May 16, 2018 at 4:40 pm //

    Nik used to give me nightmares as a Rider fan. I was at the game when he leaped over Tyron Brackenridge in the first half and dragged him into the end zone like he was a child in the second half. Best to you and your family Nik. I’ve really grown to respect you.

  28. Edward Leslie // May 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm //

    Area 51: Nik doesn’t eat sub sandwiches, he eats defences alive!

  29. Edward Leslie // May 16, 2018 at 8:03 pm //

    Scottsask:
    You’re right. Besides his impeccable catching hands, he also was a great blocker.
    I remember Winnipeg Middle linebacker Joe Lobendahn bearing down on Jon Cornish about to make a tackle several years back. Lewis came flying at him out of nowhere and laid one of the hardest hits I ever saw on Lobendahn.
    I was surprised that Lobendahn even got back up. I figured they might have to sweep him up after getti g broken into 1000 pieces!

  30. Thankfully fat boy is done, can’t stand this fool!

  31. Tiger man // May 18, 2018 at 8:45 am //

    CFL fans came to terms with this years ago.

    You’re kind of slow Nik….

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