Veteran Ticats defensive back Rico Murray retires from pro football

Photo courtesy: Alex Lupul/

After eight years in the CFL, including six years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, defensive back Rico Murray has announced his retirement.

“I believe it is time to start a new chapter in my life. With that said, I would like to begin by saying thank you to the CFL and every organization that allowed me to represent their respective team. I’m grateful for every coach that pushed me and believed in me. I don’t have enough time to name everyone but just know that you’re appreciated,” Murray said in a statement.

“I’m thankful for every teammate and every opponent I’ve competed against. Whether it was practice or a game, you brought the best out of me and without you I wouldn’t be who I am today. To the fans of the CFL, especially the fans in Hamilton, thank you for making Canada feel like a place I could call home. You are what makes the CFL special and unique from other leagues.”

“To my family and friends, thank you for your support, love, patience, and sacrifices that allowed me to pursue my dreams. I only hope I can be to you what you have been to me, and that’s nothing short of inspirational and encouraging. The game of football has provided me with so many life experiences and lessons that I will carry on for the rest of my life. Thank you and I love you all.”

The 33-year-old Murray played in 104 career CFL games over seven CFL seasons with the Ticats (2013-2016, 2019), Toronto Argonauts (2017) and Ottawa Redblacks (2018). He accumulated 340 defensive tackles, 16 special teams tackles, four quarterback sacks, 39 passes defended, 17 interceptions, six forced fumbles and three touchdowns (two interception returns, one fumble return).

The 5-11, 203-pound native of Cincinnati, Ohio was a three-time East Division all-star (2014, 2017, 2018) and played in 13 playoff games including five Grey Cup appearances (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019) – winning one with the Argos in 2017.

“We would like to congratulate Rico Murray on an excellent playing career. He was not only a great player but also a great leader and teammate from start to finish,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement.

“In his six years as a Hamilton Tiger-Cat, Rico played a big role in helping lay the foundation of our defensive model. We wish Rico and his family all the best in life after football. Thank you, Rico.”

Prior to his time in the CFL, Murray played nine NFL games with the Cincinnati Bengals over three seasons (2009-2011), posting 19 combined tackles and three passes defended. He also suited up in 47 games over four seasons at Kent State University (2005-08), registering a total of 218 defensive tackles (125 solo, 93 assisted), 18 pass breakups, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.