One last look back: every CFL player who retired this off-season

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

It’s impossible for any professional sports league to look the same from year to year and the Canadian Football League is no exception.

Over 25 players filed their retirement papers this off-season, not including many well-known veterans who remain free agents, such as Nick Arbuckle, Jamal Morrow, Greg Ellingson, Derel Walker, Lucky Whitehead, Duke Williams, Landon Rice, Ja’Gared Davis, Abdul Kanneh, Robertson Daniel, Winston Rose, and Janarion Grant.

With training camps now open across the country, let’s take one last look back at those who decided not to return to the field in 2024.

Players are listed alphabetically by last name.

REC Emmanuel Arceneaux

The 36-year-old finished his CFL career with 645 catches for 9,277 yards and 58 touchdowns over 164 games with B.C., Saskatchewan, and Edmonton, earning three West Division all-star selections and two CFL all-star selections. Though the Manny Show is no longer releasing new episodes, have no fear: it’s still available on syndication.

OL Logan Bandy

The six-foot-five, 285-pound blocker was selected in the fifth round of the 2021 CFL Draft and played 29 games over two seasons in Saskatchewan, making 15 starts at centre. Though he fell in his draft year, the 24-year-old was a highly decorated offensive lineman at the University of Calgary, earning three Canada West all-star selections.

SAM/RB Jackson Bennett

The native of Cumberland, Ont. played five seasons in the CFL with Hamilton and Ottawa at strong-side linebacker and running back, finishing his five-year career with 128 carries for 597 yards and one touchdown, 33 catches for 239 yards, 27 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and 21 kickoff returns for 469 yards.

LB Jesse Briggs

The 33-year-old filed his retirement papers instead of pursuing free agency this past winter, capping a nine-year career spent entirely in Winnipeg. Briggs was a second-round pick in the 2014 CFL Draft out of McGill University and made 51 defensive tackles, 76 special teams tackles, and four fumble recoveries over 134 career regular season games, helping the Blue Bombers win two Grey Cups.

DB Cariel Brooks

The two-time East Division all-star and one-time CFL all-star made 205 defensive tackles, two sacks, 12 interceptions, and four forced fumbles over 70 career games with Hamilton and Ottawa. The former NFL draft pick and native of Miami Gardens, Fla. played 10 games for the Redblacks this past season, starting primarily at boundary halfback.

OL David Brown

The six-foot-five, 300-pound native of London, Ont. suffered three ACL tears during his collegiate and professional career, appearing in only 33 CFL games over four seasons with Calgary and Montreal. Despite no longer being a player, Brown remains with the Alouettes as their new assistant offensive line coach and, at 29, appears to have a bright future in the coaching world.

Photo: Matt Smith/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

LB Larry Dean

The six-foot, 225-pound defender made 570 defensive tackles, 15 special teams tackles, 11 sacks, seven interceptions, and eight forced fumbles over seven CFL seasons with Hamilton, Edmonton, and Saskatchewan. The four-time divisional all-star took a job with the Roughriders upon his retirement, now serving as the team’s player personnel coordinator in football operations.

DB Javien Elliott

The 30-year-old retired suddenly in March despite still being under contract with the Tiger-Cats and being penciled into a starting role in the secondary. Elliott made 44 tackles and three interceptions over three seasons with Calgary and Hamilton following a four-year NFL career during which he dressed for 52 games with Tampa Bay and Carolina.

SAM Chris Edwards

The 31-year-old went out with a bang as he punched an opponent in the head at the end of the East Semi-Final, drawing a three-game suspension. The career bad boy ended his six-year CFL run with 231 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, 10 interceptions, eight sacks, and five forced fumbles over 98 games with Edmonton, B.C., Toronto, and Hamilton.

QB Dane Evans

The six-year veteran stepped away from the game at the age of 30 to pursue a coaching career and has since landed a position as the quarterbacks coach at Owasso High School in his home state of Oklahoma. Evans finished his CFL career with 9,636 passing yards, 49 touchdowns, and 40 interceptions over 79 games with the Tiger-Cats and Lions with starts in back-to-back Grey Cups.

LB/FB Bailey Feltmate

The 26-year-old native of Moncton, N.B. played three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after being selected in the second round of the 2020 CFL Draft. The University of Acadia product made four defensive tackles and 35 special teams tackles over 43 career games, contributing at linebacker and fullback.

Photo: Reuben Polansky/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

RB Andrew Harris

The five-time CFL all-star signed a one-day contract to retire with his hometown team last month. The 12-year veteran ran for 10,380 yards and 51 touchdowns as a member of the Lions, Blue Bombers, and Argonauts and made 607 receptions for 5,489 yards and 32 touchdowns. The four-time Grey Cup champion and one-time Most Outstanding Canadian ranks fifth all-time in rushing yards and fourth all-time in yards from scrimmage.

DL Charleston Hughes

The six-time CFL all-star and eight-time West Division all-star officially filed his retirement papers this off-season after going unsigned in 2023. He finished his career with 519 tackles, 136 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries, and three interceptions, sitting fifth all-time in sacks. The native of Saginaw, Mi. was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the West Division in 2013 and won two Grey Cups.

DL Jackson Jeffcoat

The 33-year-old stepped away from the game after it became clear he wasn’t going to be offered a contract extension from Winnipeg that he considered worthwhile. The six-foot-three, 251-pound edge rusher dressed for 78 career regular season games over six seasons, recording 150 tackles, 38 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, and two interceptions. He was named a CFL all-star in 2021.

LB Simoni Lawrence

The 35-year-old retired shortly after free agency got underway in February, leaving the game as Hamilton’s all-time leader in defensive tackles and ranked tenth in league history in defensive tackles. The three-time CFL all-star, five-time East Division all-star, and three-time East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player is now the brand and community ambassador for the Hamilton Sports Group.

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

DL Ted Laurent

The 37-year-old went unsigned in February and officially decided to walk away from the game this past weekend following a 12-year CFL career with Edmonton and Hamilton. The five-time East Division all-star and two-time CFL all-star finished his career with 235 total tackles, 53 quarterback sacks, 25 tackles for loss, nine forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries over 187 games.

LB Zach Lindley

The 24-year-old retired for undisclosed reasons this off-season after helping the Alouettes end a 12-year Grey Cup drought. The native of Chatham, Ont. was an eighth-round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft out of Western University and made 24 total tackles at the CFL level, primarily contributing on special teams.

FB Mike Miller

The 35-year-old native of Riverview, N.B. missed the entire 2023 season due to a neck injury, which turned out to be career-ending. Miller finished his playing career as the CFL’s all-time leader in special teams tackles with 226 and was a two-time West Division all-star with the Blue Bombers. He was hired as Winnipeg’s special teams coordinator immediately following his retirement.

LB Charlie Moore

The six-foot-three, 224-pound native of South Delta, B.C. was a third-round pick in the 2021 CFL Draft out of the University of Calgary and played 45 regular season games over three years with the Stampeders, recording one defensive tackle, 32 special teams tackles, and two blocked punts.

LB Henoc Muamba

The three-time East Division all-star and two-time CFL all-star made 610 defensive tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 78 special teams tackles, 18 pass knockdowns, 14 forced fumbles, 17 sacks, seven interceptions, and three fumble recoveries over 135 career games with Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Montreal, and Toronto. Muamba missed all of last season due to injury, meaning his last game was the 109th Grey Cup when he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Canadian.

FB Charlie Power

The 32-year-old played 10 seasons with the Stampeders after being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 CFL Draft out of the University of Saskatchewan. He finished his career with 94 special teams tackles, three forced fumbles, three blocked punts, seven receptions for 37 yards, and one carry for three yards over 118 career games, winning two Grey Cups.

OL Drew Richmond

The six-foot-five, 314-pound blocker was the front-runner to replace Jermarcus Hardrick at right tackle in Winnipeg but elected to retire when he and the club couldn’t agree on a restructured contract for 2024. The USC product made two starts over three seasons with the club and missed the entire 2022 season due to a knee injury.

OL Samuel Thomassin

The 29-year-old spent three seasons in a depth role with Montreal and Edmonton but struggled to stay healthy at the professional level, spending all of last year on the six-game injured list. The Quebec City native and former Université Laval standout now serves as the offensive line coach at Concordia University.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

OL Chris Van Zeyl

The 40-year-old capped his 15-year career with Toronto and Hamilton this off-season having played 192 regular season games, 12 playoff games, and four Grey Cups. The native of Fonthill, Ont. was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2019, a seven-time East Division all-star, and a three-time CFL all-star.

LB Jordan Williams

The 29-year-old was the first overall pick in the 2020 CFL Draft and was named the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2021 as a member of the Lions. Williams was traded to Toronto in 2023 and flipped to Hamilton one year later but never suited up for the Tiger-Cats, choosing instead to retire. He made 229 tackles, one sack, one interception, and three forced fumbles over 46 career CFL games.