Alex Mateas, the starting centre for the Ottawa Redblacks, has formally announced his retirement.
The 30-year-old made the announcement on his Instagram page, writing the following message.
Well RNation, it has been an absolute pleasure representing you on the field and I will forever be grateful for the experiences and memories. My decision to retire from professional football has been difficult and ultimately comes down to health for myself and my family.
The only part of the decision that is very difficult is leaving the Team, Organization and Fans… in general and with this timeline.
To all the Fans, Teammates, Coaches, Friends, Foes, Competitors and everyone in between…
3DownNation insider John Hodge reported on Saturday afternoon that Mateas was leaning towards retirement.
“It came out of nowhere, it was pretty quick. The organization has been fantastic, it’s nothing to do with the Redblacks. I worked my whole life to play (professional) football and I got that dream,” Mateas told Postmedia‘s Tim Baines.
“It has nothing to do with COVID. I want to walk away healthy. Playing sports and especially playing football, there can be health consequences. I maybe had a year or two left. After 14 years of playing football, this is it.”
Mateas was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 CFL Draft out of the University of Connecticut. The Ottawa native was a two-time East Division all-star and won a Grey Cup with the team in 2016.
He started all eighteen regular season games for the Redblacks at centre in 2019, leaving a gaping hole in the middle of their offensive line.