May 9, 2011

Bomber Markus Howell retires from the CFL


WINNIPEG — Versatile Markus Howell retired Monday after 11 seasons in the CFL.

Howell played receiver, defensive back and special teams for three clubs during his career. He was originally drafted in 2000 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and spent five seasons with the club before joining the Ottawa Renegades.

He also played for the Calgary Stampeders, winning a Grey Cup in 2008, before returning to Winnipeg last season.

He had 151 career catches for 2,062 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had 77 kickoff returns for 1,679 yards and a TD and added 246 punt returns for 2,232 yards _ including a 96-yard TD in 2007 with Calgary.

Howell added 28 defensive tackles, 21 more on special teams, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries _ including one for a touchdown.

“I’ve had a great career playing the game I love,” Howell said in a statement. “I’m thankful to the Blue Bomber organization for giving me the opportunity, first by drafting me 11 years ago, but also for bringing me in last year and giving me one more opportunity to play in front of my friends and family at home.”

Howell had five punt returns for 32 yards and two kickoff returns for 37 yards last season with Winnipeg.

“The Blue Bombers would like to thank Markus for all his contributions to the organization over the past decade,” said vice-president and GM Joe Mack. “He was a consummate professional throughout his CFL career and we wish him well in all his future endeavours.”