Shawn Gore formally put to rest what amounted to an open secret around the B.C. Lions when the club formally announced his retirement Thursday, revealing another layer to their off-season reformation.
The 30-year-old Toronto native played all seven CFL seasons with the Lions upon becoming the 10th overall selection in the 2010 Canadian college draft and was a starter throughout much of his stint, though he failed to once crack the 1,000-yard receiver barrier in a season.
Gore suffered concussion-like symptoms in an Oct. 8 game at Winnipeg last year and though he returned to the lineup he wasn’t the same. He had made it known to the club during the winter that he was contemplating a career change, which began the series of events which led to the trade by the Lions of import offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye.
Coach/GM Wally Buono had said the club wants to play four non-imports on the offensive line, and picking up a ratio spot for the pending departure of Gore was implied as the reason for the move. B.C. obtained Canadian David Foucault for Olafioye.
The Lions are still tinkering with their ratio options for the season ahead, however, and made another step towards possibly playing an import at safety when they cut veteran Canadian defensive back Eric Fraser, who had requested his release, according to the club.
Import Steven Clarke worked the position during the club’s mini-camp last week amid reports the Lions are toying with the idea of trading non-import safety Mike Edem, who was signed to considerable fanfare as a free agent prior to the start of last season. B.C. already has two first-round picks in the upcoming Canadian college draft.