Oakland Raiders Should Pursue CFL Tackles Leader Solomon Elimimian
By Chase Ruttig
Aug 17, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; BC Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian (56) goes to make a tackle on Toronto Argonauts running back Curtis Steele (29) during the first half at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Already comfortable with the Lions organization, Elimimian had an average impact when he returned from his NFL tryout and failure with the Vikings in 2012. Playing in just six games, Elimimian only totalled 12 tackles before his focus turned to improving for the 2013 season with the Lions.
In 2013, Elimimian was back to his typical self as one of the best linebackers in the CFL. 73 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions put him back on the map as a defensive force for the Lions, but it would be the 2014 season that grabbed headlines as in his second full season back in Canada the linebacker reached legendary status.
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Elimimian had a record setting 2014 CFL season with the Lions, setting a new Canadian football record for most tackles in a season with 143 in addition to three fumble recoveries and a handful of sacks in what was the best season by a defensive player in league history. Because of that Elimimian was named not only the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player, but won the league’s MVP as the 2014 CFL Most Outstanding Player.
The Lions wouldn’t reach the successes they reached in the playoffs during Elimimian’s first run with the team, losing to Duron Carter’s Montreal team in the first round of the postseason. Despite the lack of a Grey Cup appearance, the 2014 season was a culmination of the all around talents of a player who was versatile in both the run game and the CFL’s pass heavy linebacker roles to smash the all-time tackles mark.
Setting the record also added to as impressive of a body of work as you can get in football without playing in the NFL. Playing in a BCS Bowl Game at Hawaii and setting conference records, Elimimian now holds one the biggest single season records in Canadian football, no small feat for a player who has yet to get his chance to prove himself in a role in the NFL. Something that perhaps could change come the 2015 NFL Free Agency period should the trend of teams taking looks at CFL stars to add to their rosters continue into the coming months.
Next: Elimimian Breakdown: Why the Raiders Should Pursue