VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have officially released veteran linebacker Solomon Elimimian, the team has announced.
The star defender was one of 10 cuts announced Tuesday, in accordance with the CFL’s requirement that team rosters be reduced to 75 players by May 1.
Former first round picks Danny Vandervoort and Charles Vaillancourt were also among those released.
“We have had lengthy discussions with Solomon over the past few months and we believe at this time that allowing him to become a free agent is the best course of action for both parties,” said General Manager Ed Hervey.
The full list of players released is below:
DL David Menard (N)
LS Mike Benson (N)
WR Danny Vandervoort (N)
OL Charles Vaillancourt (N)
DL Mike Ramsay (I)
DL Charles Walker (I)
WR Larry Cobb (I)
WR Travion Tucker (I)
DB DeVron Davis (I)
LB Solomon Elimimian (I)
Elimimian departs the Lions as the club’s all-time leader in defensive tackles with 745 along with four CFL all-star selections, the league’s Most Outstanding Player award in 2014, two Most Outstanding Defensive Player selections (2014, 2016) and a Most Outstanding Rookie award.
He originally signed with the club as a free agent in 2010 and played 118 games over nine seasons along with seven playoff games and the 2011 Grey Cup.
“In an effort to build the kind of team our fans expect this season we were very aggressive in free agency,” noted Hervey. “Acquiring incredibly talented players such as Mike Reilly, Duron Carter and Sukh Chungh have changed the face of our team. Operating under a salary cap however, means difficult personnel decisions are required moving forward.
“We are tremendously grateful for Solomon’s contributions to our organization and I greatly appreciate his patience and professionalism during this time.”
Vaillancourt, 26, was drafted fifth overall by the Lions in the 2016 CFL Draft. He played 29 games throughout his first two seasons in the league before spending all of 2018 on the six-game injured list.
A highly-touted receiver out of McMaster, Vandervoort failed to crack the Lions’ starting lineup, finishing his time in BC with just one catch in 26 games.
Veteran long snapper Mike Benson spent five seasons with the club after joining in 2014, while defensive lineman David Menard tallied 15 sacks in half a decade in BC.