Elite Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Delvin Breaux retires from pro football

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Elite Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Delvin Breaux has retired from the Canadian Football League.

After eight years of professional football, including five years in the CFL with the Ticats and three years in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Breaux has announced his retirement.

“I just want to thank God for giving me the opportunity to make my journey pass through Hamilton, Ontario. I pursued this dream because I wanted to show each and every individual that there is hope inside that no one can ever take away from you when you believe in yourself,” Breaux said in a statement.

“I want to thank my dad and my moms for raising me to be a tough son of a gun: “BUILT BREAUX TOUGH!” I want to thank my coaches and the organizations I was a part of for not just teaching me about the game, but more importantly about life itself.”

“I want to thank my brothers (teammates) for everything from showing me the way to enjoy the game without being serious 24/7, to playing with a smile on my face while I jam and beat wideouts up in the boundary. And finally, I want to thank the fans for bringing me in and accepting a Nola Bread kid for life.”

“In Hamilton, you all supported me when I had no family or friends in town for the games and made me feel like I was at home and loved, so thank you! I know it’s just a dot on my timeline but it was a huge dot because of everything I dealt with early in my playing career. Until next time, BREAUXSHOW, out.”

The 31-year-old Breaux played 49 career games with the Ticats over four CFL seasons, which included two separate two-year stints 2013 to 2014 and 2018 to 2019. He recorded 110 defensive tackles, 16 pass knockdowns, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, two touchdowns — one interception return, one fumble return — and one quarterback sack.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound boundary cornerback played in three Grey Cup games. He earned CFL all-star honours twice while being named an East Division All-Star three times. Breaux was voted to the CFL’s first all-decade team in November 2020.

“It is extremely rare when you find a DB that possesses size, strength, speed, aggressiveness, competitiveness and confidence. Offences changed the way they game-planned knowing that No. 24 was manning the boundary,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement.

“Delvin was one of the most dominant CFL corners of his era, and considering what he overcame early in his playing career, it makes his accomplishments at the professional level more than remarkable. So thank you, Delvin, for your time, dedication and commitment to the Tiger-Cats. We wish you and your family all the best during your next chapter.”

In the NFL, Breaux spent three seasons with the Saints, appearing in 22 games for New Orleans in 2015 and 2016 before missing the 2017 season due to injury. Overall, the native of New Orleans, Louisiana registered 64 total tackles, 20 passes defended, three interceptions and one fumble recovery with his hometown team.

He was also the Saints’ 2015 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award presented to select players in the NFL who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.

While with the Saints, Breaux earned nearly $2 million in NFL salary.

Signed to the play NCAA football with the Louisiana State University Tigers in 2007, Breaux suffered a near career-ending neck injury, fracturing three vertebrae during a high school prep game. As a result of his injuries, he acted solely as a player-coach during his tenure with the Tigers.

Breaux had two surgeries, including one that left him with scarring on his neck, and it took him five years to recover.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.