Next stop, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray announced his retirement on Wednesday after 16 CFL seasons, four Grey Cups and a strong argument that he is one greatest players in league history. The 39-year-old Ray has battled injuries for a number of seasons and missed most of 2018 after being stretchered from the field during a game on June 23.
“I wanted to give it the full off-season to make sure I was 100 per cent committed to the decision. Physically, I just don’t think I can perform to the standard to play anymore,” Ray said during a conference call on Wednesday. ” Every time I had that competitor in me saying just go do it, there’s a lot left to accomplish’ I had the practical voice in my head saying ‘I just can’t do it anymore.'”
The four titles are just one of Ray’s gaudy numbers: he is fourth all-time in passing yards with 60,736 and third in completions with 4,976. He is fifth overall in touchdowns (324) and holds CFL single-season marks for highest completion percentage (77.23 in 2013.)
Tributes poured in from former teammates, coaches and opponents across the league.
Leadership comes in many forms for QBs, during 2 training camps I spent as a guest coach w/ Ricky Ray I would jokingly tell him how many words he spoke during night meetings. Usually 3 or 4 He was a quiet humble worker who lead by his actions. Congrats on a hall of fame career!
— Paul LaPolice (@PaulLaPolice) May 8, 2019
THANK YOU RICKY RAY!!!!!
People throw around goat to much these days but YOU ARE TRULY THE GOAT!!!!!!! It was everything to prepare and compete next to a living legend daily, I learned a lot from you and I appreciate you!!!! pic.twitter.com/Is82kcUpHw
— James Wilder Jr (@IAm_Wilder32) May 8, 2019
Congrats to Ricky. Not going to lie, it was a huge burden originally to be attached to the dumbest trade in @cfl history. But at the end of the day I got to play for my home town @EdmontonEsks and get very involved in the community. #2xDavidBoone #2015GreyCupChamp
— Grant Shaw (@grantshaw11) May 8, 2019
— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) May 8, 2019
From beginning to end, Ricky Ray was a class act in a violent game.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) May 8, 2019
Huge congrats to my guy Ricky Ray on a HOF Career!! I love reading all the tweets and praise for his great career on here, it’s a shame that there is 0% chance he ever sees it ???? #BigSocialMediaGuy @CFL Can we get a RR15 retirement twitter account?! pic.twitter.com/LRyv7RHEZ4
— Logan Kilgore (@logankilgore) May 8, 2019