The BC Lions are open to the idea of signing franchise legend Solomon Elimimian to a one-day contract to officially retire in orange.
Elimimian announced he was retiring from the Canadian Football League on February 9.
“We haven’t talked to him about that. He hasn’t come to us to do that yet. At the end of the day, Solomon Elimimian is a Lion. We’re not fooling anyone by signing a contract to retire him,” co-general manager Neil McEvoy said on The BC Lions Den Pawdcast.
“To me, Solomon Elimimian is a BC Lion and will always be a BC Lion. Just because he played 15 games with another team that wore green, that doesn’t make him a Saskatchewan Roughrider.”
The 34-year-old played nine years in Vancouver and compiled an impressive list of accolades. Elimimian burst onto the Canadian football scene in 2010 as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie. He also became the first strictly defensive player to win the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 2014, earned two Most Outstanding Defensive Player Awards and five CFL all-star nods while on the left coast.
In addition to being named a CFL all-star four times, Elimimian holds the CFL record for defensive tackles in one season with 144 set in 2017. He played 133 regular season games over 10 seasons along with eight playoff games and helped the Lions win the 2011 Grey Cup.
“A guy from California, played at Hawaii, the chances of him coming to Vancouver without football are zero. He came to Vancouver, played for the BC Lions, and now is making Vancouver his home,” McEvoy said.
“He is an amazing human, a great person that’s going to be living in Canada for hopefully the rest of his life. This is what this team and professional football in Canada has done is brought people to the country of Canada that never would have thought to come here. We’re a better community for that.”
Elimimian beat the odds and turned naysayers into believers and left a lasting impact on the league. The ferocious linebacker is currently the CFL Players’ Association president and can still make an impact on the league off the field.