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All-star LB Solomon Elimimian re-ups with Lions

VANCOUVER — One of the league’s most dominant defensive players is off the list of pending free agents.

The BC announced Wednesday that linebacker Solomon Elimimian and the club have agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension that will keep the 30-year-old linebacker in Vancouver through 2018.

“BC is the only place I wanted to play and I’m elated to be signing back with the Lions,” Elimimian said in a statement. “We have all the ingredients of a championship team and I can’t wait to get back on the field and get to work in 2017.”

Elimimian was once again dominant in 2016, racking up 129 tackles and 8 sacks on his way to being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player for the second time.

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The only player in CFL history to win three different major player awards and the only purely defensive player to earn the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award as he did in 2014, Elimimian’s resume already reads like that of a hall fame candidate.

A three-time CFL All-Star and a four-time West Division selection, Elimimian is on the cusp of Lions’ franchise history heading into next season. His 575 career tackles put him just 12 defensive stops behind Dante Marsh’s all-time team mark of 587, while his combined total of 605 stops (including special teams tackles) places him just behind Marsh’s 609.

“Solomon’s achievements as a football player are significant and this is a very big signing for our club,” said VP of football operations, GM and head coach Wally Buono in a team-issued press release. “He is an important part of our defence, a leader in our dressing room and I know how important it is for our fans to have Solomon back with us as well.”

Locking up Elimimian well before the free agent period begins in February could prove to be even more important given the recent decision to allow Adam Bighill pursue NFL opportunities during a window that closes on January 27th.  Should Bighill earn a contract down south, it would mark the first time since 2012 that the Lions would be without both of their star linebackers.

More to come …