Adios Adarius: Elks’ receiver Adarius Bowman retires after brief return

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

One of the best receivers in franchise history is retiring in Green and Gold.

Adarius Bowman announced his retirement Wednesday from the Edmonton Elks, officially ending an 11-season career in the CFL.

“I’m honoured and grateful to be able to retire with the EE,” said Bowman, who had inked with Edmonton back on January 26. “I’m thankful for the opportunities the country of Canada and the city of Edmonton gave to a young kid who grew into a man.”

“To all my teammates, coaches, and the entire staff in Edmonton, thank y’all for some of the best moments in my life.”

A three-time CFL all-star (2014-2016), Bowman was a standout with the Double E from 2011 to 2017, authoring four 1,000-yard seasons. Three of those 1,000-yard campaigns came from 2014 to 2016, as Bowman was key to Edmonton’s return to CFL prominence and the team’s 2015 Grey Cup win under head coach Chris Jones.

“I first met Adarius when he was playing high school ball in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so I’ve known him for a longtime and was lucky enough to see him develop into a terrific football player,” said Jones. “He’s one of the best receivers in franchise history and was a big part of our 2015 Grey Cup win. I’m happy he could retire here in Edmonton where he belongs.

Bowman broke into the league with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2008, before spending 2009 and 2010 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

His breakout CFL season came during his first in Edmonton, as he posted 1,153 receiving yards on 62 catches in 2011. It was just the beginning, as the Oklahoma State product went on to etch his name all over the Elks record book.

Bowman’s 1,761 receiving yards in 2016 is the second highest single-season total in franchise history, while his 120 receptions that year remain the most ever by a member of the Green and Gold.

He’s one of only six players in franchise history to eclipse the 7,000 receiving yards mark in Green and Gold, as his 7,050 yards are fifth all-time.

Bowman left Edmonton after the 2017 season and went on to split the 2018 campaign with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Montreal Alouettes.

He finishes his CFL career with 141 career regular season games, 652 receptions, 9,491 yards, and 49 touchdowns.

Off the field, Bowman also left an impact, living up to the double E’s commitment to excellence away from the game, as he engrained himself as a proud Edmontonian.

Among his many community initiatives, Bowman started the Adarius 4 Autism Foundation to raise awareness for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In 2017, he was honoured for his outstanding sportsmanship and commitment to the community with the CFLPA’s Tom Pate Memorial Award.