VANCOUVER — Brent Johnson is going out on top.
The veteran defensive end has announced his retirement, ending his 11-year career with the B.C. Lions.
It comes just over three months after the Lions defeated Winnipeg 34-23 in the Grey Cup game at B.C. Place.
The 35-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., spent his entire CFL career with the Lions, who selected Johnson in the third round of the 2001 draft out of Ohio State.
Johnson leaves as the Lions’ all-time leader in sacks with 89.
Twice Johnson was named the CFL’s outstanding Canadian and also captured the league’s top defensive player award.
Three times he was named a CFL all-star and helped B.C. win two Grey Cups during his time with the club.
“Decisions of this magnitude are never easy, but looking back on the past eleven years I believe I surpassed my wildest expectations as a player,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am honoured to have been a Lion for my entire career and it has been my privilege to play alongside some of the greatest athletes our league has seen.
“Thank you also to Lions fans everywhere, your support has been inspirational.”