Kamloops, BC — The BC Lions announced Saturday the release of Paul McCallum. Shortly thereafter the veteran kicker/punter took to Twitter to speak on the move.
The Lions issued a statement confirming the kicker’s release and stating that he had “requested to be released by the team”
“Paul and I have had ongoing discussions over the past number of seasons regarding his future with the club,” said Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. ”In keeping with what Paul and I discussed, the club will grant his request for a release at this time. We appreciate his many contributions to our organization and we wish him the best moving forward,
Reports surfaced yesterday claiming that McCallum was contemplating retrirement but he quickly attempted to give his side of the story via Twitter Saturday afternoon.
McCallum holds many unique distinctions during his 22 years in the CFL. He is one of only five players to ever play 20 or more seasons in the league. McCallum holds the league record for longest field goal made at 62 yards and is the most accurate kicker in a single season with a mark of 94.3% that was set in 2011. That same year, McCallum set the record for most consecutive made field goals with 30 (which has since been broken by Calgary’s Rene Parades).
McCallum was first signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1993 but was released before ever playing a game. He split the rest of the season between the Lions and Rough Riders.
After two more CFL seasons, one with BC and one with Saskatchewan, McCallum signed with the Scottish Claymores of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europe), winning the World Bowl in 1996. He would later spend a year with the Las Vegas Outlaws of the XFL where he scored the first ever points in league history.
From 1996 to 2005, save for his brief foray into the XFL, McCallum was the starting kicker for Roughriders. He would sign with the Lions in 2006 and has won two Grey Cups with the team.
The 45-year-old also holds records in Grey Cup games. In his first season with the Lions, McCallum tied the mark for most field goals in the championship game when he connected on all six attempts. He was named the Most Valuable Canadian of the Grey Cup for his efforts that game.
In 2010, McCallum became the first kicker in Lions’ history to be the team’s nominee for Most Outstanding Player.
McCallum is a two-time CFL all-star and won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Award in 2011.