Stepping down as Mayor: Odell Willis retires as member of Edmonton Elks

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Mayor of Commonwealth is finally stepping down from his office after spending several years serving other municipalities.

Defensive end Odell Willis signed a one-day contract with the Edmonton Elks on Thursday in order to announce his retirement as a member of the Green and Gold.

Willis spent 11 seasons in the CFL, including five seasons in Edmonton. Nicknamed the “Mayor of Commonwealth”, Willis ruled the turf in Edmonton from 2013 to 2017, helping the EE capture the Grey Cup in 2015. He was a CFL All-Star and Edmonton’s nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2014 when he tied for second in the league with 13 sacks.

In each of his five seasons in Green and Gold, Willis either led or ranked second on the team for sacks, totalling 46. He added four sacks in the postseason with Edmonton, including one in the EE’s 26-20 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks to capture the championship in 2015.

Willis suited up for 191 contests, missing just seven games over 11 seasons, which also included stints with the Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions. He signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Argonauts last season but was released during training camp.

The Meridian, Mississippi native’s 101 career sacks are the 12th most in CFL history. He tied for the league lead with 13 sacks as a member of the Blue Bombers in 2011, when he earned his first CFL All-Star selection.