Simmy HOV stays in the Hammer, Ticats ink star linebacker Simoni Lawrence to contract extension

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have re-signed veteran linebacker Simoni Lawrence to a one-year contract for the 2021 season.

The 31-year-old Lawrence started 15 games for the Ticats in 2019, leading the CFL in defensive tackles (98) and defensive plays made (117), while tying a career-high with three interceptions and adding four quarterback sacks, seven pass knock downs, one fumble recovery and four tackles for loss.

The University of Minnesota product was named the East Division’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second time in his career (2015), while also earning his second CFL all-star selection (2015) and fourth divisional all-star appointment (2014, 2015, 2016).

Lawrence set a CFL single-game record in Week 16 at Winnipeg with 17 defensive tackles (Reggie Hunt – 16) against the Blue Bombers.

“Simoni routinely brings positive energy and an infectious daily work ethic to our football team,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement. “He is a great leader and premier playmaker, who also strives to make a difference in our community off the field.” 

The six-foot-one, 228-pound native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania has appeared in 128-career CFL games, 113 starts with the Edmonton Football Team (2012) and Ticats (2013-2020), registering 533 defensive tackles, 26 quarterback sacks, 11 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles and 18 special teams tackles.

He has also seen action in 20 playoff games with Hamilton, including three Grey Cup appearances in 2013, 2014 and 2019. Lawrence holds the Tiger-Cats’ franchise record with 533 career defensive tackles after surpassing Rob Hitchcock (484) in 2019, and currently sits second behind only Hitchcock (606) in total tackles with 551.