Oakland Raiders Should Pursue CFL Tackles Leader Solomon Elimimian

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Going back to the NFL after two outstanding seasons in the CFL with the security of a two year contract, those in Canada and Minnesota assumed that Elimimian would have a strong chance of staying around in his second attempt to make the league. After all his college numbers and improvement after getting an opportunity with the Lions had Elimimian’s stock much higher than after leaving college despite big numbers in terms of tackles and sacks.

Elimimian’s preseason in Minnesota also started out with a bang. Showcasing his coverage skills, the middle linebacker earned an interception Week One against the San Francisco 49ers that was returned for 13 yards in addition to two tackles to begin making his case to crack the 53 man roster.

In Elimimian’s second preseason game he didn’t appear to get a good look against the team that gave him his first opportunity against the Buffalo Bills where he failed to make it onto the box score, but in Week 3 he got what was a final look by the Vikings staff where he earned three tackles. In the end it wasn’t enough as the Vikings weren’t interested in what the linebacker had to offer on the defensive side of the ball, viewing the CFL star as a special teamer who wasn’t providing enough upside to keep around after their Week 3 cuts.

“His only shot in the NFL is as a special teams player,” said Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune following Elimimian’s release by the Vikings. “It ended up not being the best fit, but I don’t think it will be Solomon’s last NFL opportunity.”

Elimimian would try a practice squad look from the Cleveland Browns upon his release, but didn’t get much of a chance there either and would be back in Vancouver with the Lions midway through the 2012 CFL season. Once again the linebacker could not get his big break in the NFL, but for a second straight run it didn’t look like the team he signed with had much interest in giving him the opportunity to use his strengths as he was relegated to trying to make the team through special teams.

Used to being an every down defensive star from college and the CFL, Elimimian had little chance of cracking a 53 man roster that route and was back in Canada quickly. Something that may have turned out to be best for his career as the second stint with the Lions helped Elimimian continue to grow as a player.

Next: Elimimian Breakdown: Lions Return, Record Breaking Season