Jason Pottinger, Marc Beswick retire from CFL
Ottawa Redblacks linebacker Jason Pottinger and Hamilton Tiger-Cats counterpart Marc Beswick are calling it a career.
The two Canadian Football League veterans announced their retirement on Friday.
Pottinger, a native of Whitby, Ont., spent last season with the Ottawa Redblacks after being selected by the club in the CFL expansion draft following the 2013 campaign.
‘The best part was that I enjoyed every second of it with my friends and family.’- Redblacks LB Jason Pottinger on his CFL career
“Over the last nine CFL seasons I have had the privilege of travelling our country from coast to coast and playing the game I love,” Pottinger said. “I also had the great honour of winning a Grey Cup championship in my hometown.
“The best part was that I enjoyed every second of it with my friends and family. I’ll never forget the good times I had, the amazing people I met and the valuable life lessons I learned throughout my career.”
Pottinger, 31, began his pro career with the B.C. Lions after being selected second overall in the 2006 CFL draft. He won the first of his two Grey Cup titles with the Lions that season.
The six-foot-two, 238-pound Pottinger spent three seasons in B.C. before being dealt to the Toronto Argonauts on March 23, 2009 for a ’09 first-round draft pick. He played five seasons with the Argos, helping the team win the 2012 Grey Cup game at Rogers Centre.
Pottinger appeared in all 18 regular-season games last season with Ottawa.
Pottinger was a standout player at McMaster University from 2002-05. Twice he was an All-Canadian and captured the OUA’s top defensive player honour in 2004 and 2005.
Pottinger also started a charitable initiative, Tackles 4 Toilets, which raises money to build new latrines for rural grade schools in Kenya. He has sent over 200 underprivileged youth to Argos games.
‘I want TigerTown to know I will always bleed black and gold.’- Retiring Tiger-Cats LB Marc Beswick
Beswick spent six seasons with Hamilton after starting his CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2008.
“I want to thank [owner] Bob Young and the entire Tiger-Cats organization for my time with the team, but most of all my coaches, trainers, equipment staff, the fans and especially, my teammates,” said Beswick. “As I move on from my football career, I want TigerTown to know I will always bleed black and gold.”
The six-foot-one, 198-pound Beswick, a Vancouver native, was a special-teams dynamo over his CFL career. He registered 123 special-teams tackles in the regular season and eight in the playoffs. He led the CFL in special-teams tackles in 2011 and ’13.
He was the East Division’s top special-teams player in 2013 and finished his career tied with Rob Hitchcock for the most special-teams tackles in Ticats history with 122.
“As an organization, we would like to thank Marc for his six years with the club,” head coach/GM Kent Austin said. “His leadership and dedication to the team will be missed.
“We wish him and his family the best and they will always be a part of the Tiger-Cat family.”
Beswick appeared in 103 career regular-season games and participated in Grey Cups the last two years with Hamilton.