Veteran linebacker Solomon Elimimian felt there was a change of course with the B.C. Lions and the new powers that be, general manager Ed Hervey and head coach DeVone Claybrooks.
“I thought I was in the plans, I’ll just leave it at that – that’s why I extended. You’ll have to ask Ed, I’m not here to bash anybody. I talked to Ed and he said I wasn’t in the plans. I said I appreciate it and go ahead and release me and let me move on with my career. That’s how we got here,” Elimimian said on Sportsnet 650 radio in Vancouver.
“Just having new people in the organization, you don’t really know them and I’m sure they don’t know you – that’s never clear. With Wally [Buono] you always knew where you stood because he would tell you, whether you liked it or not. When you have a new boss come in, I don’t want to say you’re on edge, but you really don’t know exactly.”
Elimimian had played nine years in Vancouver recording 745 tackles, 36 special teams stops, 29 sacks, eight interceptions and right forced fumbles in 118 career games. The 32-year-old was the first defensive player to be named CFL MOP in 2014, won the Most Outstanding Rookie Award in 2010, two Most Outstanding Defensive Player Awards (2014 and 2016) along with a Grey Cup ring in 2011.
“It’s never pleasant. It’s not the easiest thing. I’d rather look at the positives being in a new city. And sometimes you’ve been in a place for so long maybe you’re not as appreciated. And maybe people don’t appreciate you as maybe they should. And when you’re gone people start to appreciate you more and really realize what you’ve meant to the organization,” Elimimian said.
“When I came to Canada I just wanted to play football. You gotta take the good with the bad. You look at the whole scope of things and I’ve had a good career there.”
Elimimian suffered a wrist injury that limited him to just four games last season. He took a pay cut before the 2018 campaign to stay in B.C. There have already been three teams to show interest in Elimimian.
“Once my official release happens my agent’s gotta do his job,” Elimimian said, “and see what makes the best sense for me. It’s all new for me. I’ve got to pack up and move.”