The Montreal Alouettes announced Thursday that slotback Nik Lewis has retired after 14 CFL seasons.
The Alouettes congratulated Lewis on a record-breaking career in a statement that came hours after the two-time Grey Cup champion released a video on YouTube saying the team granted him an unconditional release.
Lewis, 35, said in the video that he had already decided against returning as a player but had hoped to land another job with the Alouettes, where he played the last three seasons after 11 campaigns with the Calgary Stampeders.
“It was awesome, it was great,” Lewis said in the video. “Things come and go.
“At the moment we haven’t been able to work out anything moving forward. I don’t know if that will change in the future. I have asked for my release and I’ve been granted my release to pursue other options.”
He hopes find a job in football in some capacity, adding that “when I land on my feet somewhere, I’ll let you know.”
Lewis played 226 CFL games, winning two Grey Cups with Calgary. He made a record 1,051 catches for 13,775 yards and 71 touchdowns. He was named a CFL all-star three times and a divisional all star six times.
He thanked Montreal owners Robert and Andrew Wetenhall and former general manager Jim Popp for bringing him to Montreal in 2015 and wished the team success. He said that despite finishing 3-15 last season, the Alouettes locker room stayed positive and was confident the team would improve.
“Nik was an amazing player and a perfect example of consistency throughout his career. On behalf of the Alouettes organization I would like to thank him for everything that he has done for us,” Alouettes general manager Kavis Reed said in the team’s statement. He has been a great mentor for our young players and his contagious good mood will be missed in our locker room.”