Solomon Elimimian

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Solomon Elimimian
No. 10     Saskatchewan Roughriders
2010 Grey Cup parade, Solomon Elimimian.jpg
Elimimian walking in a Grey Cup parade in 2010.
Born: (1986-10-21) October 21, 1986 (age 33)
Calabar, Nigeria
Career information
CFL statusAmerican
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight225 lb (102 kg)
High schoolCrenshaw
(Los Angeles, California)
Career history
As player
2008Buffalo Bills*
20102011BC Lions
2012Minnesota Vikings*
2012Cleveland Browns*
20122018BC Lions
2019–presentSaskatchewan Roughriders
*Pre-season and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star2011, 2014, 2016, 2017
CFL West All-Star2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019
Career stats

Solomon Elimimian (born October 21, 1986) is a Canadian football linebacker for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the current president of the Canadian Football League Players' Association (CFLPA).

He spent nine seasons with the BC Lions and was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie in 2010. In 2014, he won the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award and Most Outstanding Player Award. Elimimian is the first purely defensive player to win the league's Most Outstanding Player Award as well as the first player to win three different CFL awards in his career. He played college football for the Hawaii Warriors and attended Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles, California.

Early years[edit]

Elimimian started playing football in the ninth grade at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles, California.[1]

College career[edit]

In his senior year with the Hawaii Warriors, Elimimian recorded 121 tackles and four sacks. By the end of his four years playing for the Warriors, Elimimian held the school's all-time tackles record with 434 tackles.

Professional career[edit]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

Following his collegiate career, Elimimian was signed by the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League and played in two preseason games. On September 1, 2009, he was released by the Bills.

BC Lions[edit]

Elimimian signed as a free agent with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League on May 19, 2010.[2] Elimimian recorded 77 tackles, five sacks and 11 special teams tackles in only 16 games. For his impressive efforts, he finished the year by winning the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie Award for the 2010 CFL season. In the 2011 season Elimimian was voted as the leagues 'hardest hitter' according to a TSN annual Player Poll, voted on by more than 250 CFL players. Elimimian finished the 2011 season with 98 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 interceptions. He went on with the Lions to capture the 99th Grey Cup.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Following two outstanding years in the CFL Elimimian decided to sign a two-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL.[3] On August 25, 2012, he was released by the Vikings.[4]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Elimimian was signed to the Cleveland Browns practice squad on September 1, 2012. He was waived from the practice squad on September 3, 2012.

BC Lions[edit]

Elimimian returned to the BC Lions partway through the 2012 CFL season. He only played in 6 CFL games that season, tallying only 12 tackles. Elimimian re-signed with the Lions hours after the opening of free agency on February 15, 2013.[5] Elimimian earned Defensive player of the Week honors for Week 6 after registering a forced fumble and an interception in the Lions win over the Blue Bombers on August 5, 2013. He finished the 2013 season with 73 tackles, 3 sacks and 3 interceptions. Elimimian had a record-setting 2014 CFL season, setting a new CFL record for most tackles in a season with 143 (he was 54 tackles ahead of Bear Woods who finished in second place that season).[6] In addition to setting the tackle record, Elimimian had 5 sacks, 1 interception and 3 fumble recoveries. He won the 2014 CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award and Most Outstanding Player Award. He is the first purely defensive player to win the league's Most Outstanding Player Award as well as the first player to win three different CFL awards in his career.[7][8] Just as the 2015 free agency period opened, the BC Lions announced a contract extension for Elimimian. The deal is reportedly worth $700,000 over three seasons.[9] Elimimian played in the first 7 games of the 2015 CFL season after suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in mid-August.[10] He finished the season with 44 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception.

In Week 11 of the 2016 season Elimimian broke the Lions single game tackles record against the Argonauts when he made 14 tackles.[11] For the second time in his career Solomon Elimimian lead the league in tackles when he finished the 2016 season with 129. His accomplishments on the field were recognized when he was named the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second time in his career.[12] Set to become a free agent in February 2017, Elimimian and the Lions agreed to a two-year contract extension on December 21, 2016.[13] Elimimian had a career year in the 2017 season, surpassing his previous CFL record of 143 tackles in a season by one, raising the record to 144. Elimimian was named the Lions' Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player.[14]

Elimimian played in the first four games of the 2018 season, registering 26 tackles. On July 18, 2018 it was announced that Elimimian could miss up to eight weeks after undergoing wrist surgery. In early September Head Coach Wally Buono revealed that Elimimian would likely miss another four-to-five weeks as he recovered from his wrist surgery.[15] Elimimian was finally taken off injured reserve on November 6, 2018, prior to the Lions' Eastern Semi-Final playoff game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[16] Following a number of high-profile free agent signings, headlined by star quarterback Mike Reilly, rumours began to circulate in late April that the BC Lions were planning to release Elimimian after failing to find a viable trade partner.[17] He was officially released on April 30, 2019.[18] Elimimian left the Lions as the team's all-time leader in tackles with 745, having played in 118 games for the Lions. The release came well after the CFL free agency period had passes, leading Elimimian's agent to criticize Ed Hervey for the timing; Elimimian had already agreed to pay cuts in consecutive years so that he could remain with the Lions, and with his release this late, Elimimian's next contract would not be as high given that most team's had already committed resources for the season.[19] Hervey doubled down on his reasons for releasing Elimimian; "We know when a players’ time is up and that's the decision that we made."[20]

Saskatchewan Roughriders[edit]

On May 9, 2019, the Saskatchewan Roughriders signed Elimimian to a contract.[21] Elimimian missed the first three games, but proved himself effective by finishing third in defensive tackles with 88, which was good for first in the Western Division, for which he was named a divisional All-Star.[22] He also forced a fumble, and had 4 sacks; in three wins against Hervey's BC Lions, Elimimian had one sack in each of them. Elimimian helped lead the Roughriders to first place in the West Division for the first time in a decade.

Canadian Football League Players' Association[edit]

On February 7, 2020, Elimimian was elected President of the Canadian Football League Players' Association, beating out three other candidates.[23] He succeeded Jeff Keeping who did not seek a second term.


  1. ^ Craig, Mark (May 12, 2012). "New Vikings linebacker Elimimian hits hard, no matter his size". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ Two more pieces added to Lions defence
  3. ^ Elimimian signs with the Minnesota Vikings
  4. ^ Craig, Mark. "No surprises as Vikings cut 15 players". Star Tribune. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Elimimian resigns with the BC Lions
  6. ^ "Preview: Elimimian looks to make history at CFL Awards". November 27, 2014. Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  7. ^ "Elimimian wins Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award". Archived from the original on November 28, 2014. Retrieved November 27, 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  8. ^ "Un-D-niable: Elimimian makes history with MOP honour". November 27, 2014. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
  9. ^ "Lions extend LBs Elimimian, Bighill". TSN.
  10. ^ "B.C. Lions star linebacker Solomon Elimimian to undergo surgery to repair torn Achilles | Metro News". Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  11. ^ "He'll tackle anything: Adjusted total gives Elimimian a Lions team record". September 6, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  12. ^ "Stamped and Sealed: Calgary dominates Shaw CFL Awards". November 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Lions re-sign veteran LB Elimimian – Article – TSN". TSN. December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "Elimimian breaks own single-season tackles record -". November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  15. ^ "Buono: Elimimian to miss another 4-5 weeks - The Sports Network". TSN. September 12, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "Report: Elimimian upping practice reps; could start Sunday -". November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  17. ^ "Report: Lions to release Solomon Elimimian". April 26, 2019. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Lions part ways with Solomon Elimimian; waive 9 others". BC Lions. April 30, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Roughriders sign LB Elimimian to contract". TSN. May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Riders' Solomon Elimimian elected as new president of CFL Players' Association". CBC. Canadian Press. Retrieved February 20, 2020.

External links[edit]