Former Riders and Ticats Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz expected to retire: report

Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz is set to call it a career.

The 34-year-old has apparently decided to retire after a remarkable career in Canadian football.

After winning the Hec Crighton Trophy as the best player in CIS and now USports football in 2005 at Western University, Fantuz was selected in the first round, third overall, by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 2006 CFL Draft.

He made an impact as a rookie and starred for the Riders in 2007 when Saskatchewan beat Winnipeg in the Grey Cup 23-19. That season Fantuz had 978 yards and seven touchdowns on 56 catches in the regular season and 16 receptions for 263 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff games, which featured 70 yards and one touchdown in the CFL title victory earning the Most Valuable Canadian award.

Fantuz played six seasons for the Riders making 289 receptions for 4,311 yards and 23 touchdowns in 77 games. Fantuz’s best statistical season came 2010 when he grabbed 87 passes for 1,380 yards and six touchdowns, earning the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian award.

During free agency in 2012, Fantuz, the Chatham, Ont. native, returned close to home signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Fantuz set a career high in catches in 2016 and had already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving when he tore his ACL on an innocent looking play in an Oct. 28 game against the Edmonton Eskimos. Fantuz played six seasons for the Ticats making 348 catches for 4,502 yards and 21 touchdowns.

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65 Comments on Former Riders and Ticats Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz expected to retire: report

  1. Allison // July 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm //

    Very sad news. Fantuz is one of the greats and will always be a Ticat. Hope he changes his mind and returns to the CFL fold, hopefully in the Hammer.

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  2. Evil Empire // July 16, 2018 at 3:29 pm //

    He’s had a great career. He even won a Grey Cup. Unlike a guy like Stegall that played forever, but never won the Cup.

    Time catches up to everybody. Nothing to be sad about, in this case. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

    • You can’t be serious comparing Stegal to Fantuz? Like comparing a Ferrari to Ford Tempo.

  3. bigplay // July 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm //

    @Allison I love Fantuz but the Cats did not want him back I was told he was hoping to catch on with another team but I guess it never happened sad to see it end this way hopefully he will re-emerge in some other capacity in football hopefully in the Hamilton area.

    • punctuation marks…meet bigplay….bigplay, meet punctuation marks!

    • bigplay .. that is totally wrong. He just had a baby and definitely wasn’t looking to move to another team. Probably saw that as the start of a new chapter.

    • Slomojo // July 18, 2018 at 6:43 am //

      Wrong! He had several offers and an open with Cats but decided that spending more time with family/new baby was more important.

  4. Rumour has it // July 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm //

    Great receiver. Classy guy. A player that both Saskatchewan and Hamilton are proud to have had on their team.

  5. He was a tremendous Ti-Cat player and great for the community

    • Historic McMahon // July 16, 2018 at 5:14 pm //

      When Reynolds was hitting women, Fantuz was contributing to the Riders, the city of Regina, and the province of Saskatchewan.

      • BigRedMachine // July 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm //

        That was an asinine statement. What was he doing while Trevis Smith was knowingly infecting women with HIV? It would seem every team has had unsavoury characters play for them…

        • BTW
          Factually incorrect statement by Historic McMahon
          Reynolds was charged in 2012, Fantuz was a Cat by that time

          • Historic McMahon // July 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm //

            It was happening for years. Already when Fantuz and the Riders won the Grey Cup in ’07

      • ummm,,,ok kind of a strange statement

    • he was an even greater Rider player!

  6. Scottsask // July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm //

    Thank you Andy for your tremendous years as a Rider and Ti Cat. All the best to you in your future.

  7. First class Canadian player. It’s always sad when a guy stays until the point that no one wants him. I always thought he’s got a future in coaching. Maybe the Cats can make room. He was the Jones “whisperer” while he was rehabbing his knee last year, helping JJ adjust to the CFL game.

  8. 3rd & 1 // July 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm //

    There was a time that Andy Fantuz was Mr second down. His Sophmore year was a tough one when Austin benched him a game for dropping passes right in his hands. After that he never looked back. In 2007 I remember Andy catching a pass and running about 15 yards to pay dirt in the Grey Cup. He won a Grey Cup and most outstanding Canadian that year with SK.
    I was disappointed when Andy signed with Hamilton. I know he was going home. That’s the same time frame Winnipeg’s Brendon Labatte signed with SK because he too wanted to be at home.
    I know Andy felt he had a better chance to win a GC in Hamilton then SK when he signed. Turned out to be the opposite. As SK lost on 09-10 but won again in 13.
    Best of luck to you Andy in what ever you do going forward.
    Cheers

  9. Had some great highlight reel moments for sure. Sad to see him go. Ever since he got back from his tryouts in the NFL, he never got back to that form in Sask. I think everyone was hoping he would.

  10. Disappointing – I thought he still had something left in the tank and Hamilton is certainly still lacking a large clutch inside receiver. Maybe his knee is just not the same and not allowing him to be the same player – hopefully the announcement will include a new role with the Ticats.

    • Where's Shultz? // July 16, 2018 at 5:45 pm //

      Hamilton missing a clutch inside receiver? Ever heard of Luke Tasker?

      • Tasker is not LARGE in my world – a great receiver but a relatively small body that would never play the same role.

  11. Definitely one of the CFL all time greats. Sad to see him exit like this though.

  12. Peter N // July 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm //

    Father time remains undefeated. Wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

  13. Jeff May // July 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm //

    I got a ride on one of those atv’s through the tunnels just before the Grey Cup game in Sask (13)
    We came upon the Ticats just going through the door to the field
    I yelled whoooo-hoooo Ticats!! And its was Fantuz who turned, smiled big and waved! I think it’s my favorite Ticat memory

  14. I agree with Mark, I was hoping he still had a little left in the tank. We need another clutch on second down big receiver to help ease the pressure on Tasker. And on another note – Fantuz tears up his knee on an innocent looking play against Edmonton. Collaros tears up his knee on an innocent looking play against, once again Edmonton, both home games a year apart, kinda weird. I expect to see Andy being inducted into HOF soon enough.

  15. Expected to retire??? I thought he was already retired? Great receiver in his day for a Canadian.

    • Wrong answer : according to a TSN Derek Taylor computer program model, Fantuz was the most valuable receiver period.His talent was hidden because the statistics did not place him in the top ten most productive.However, Fantuz was a gifted receiver that caught those passes that were not thrown well, more than any other player in the CFL. That’s entertainment.

  16. Great player, classy guy. Way to retire on your terms.

  17. Can’t wait for the Ti-cats to honor him. It will be a proud day for the Ti-cat family when he goes into the HOF.

  18. BigRedMachine // July 16, 2018 at 5:43 pm //

    Last of the Canadian Air Force while with the Riders. Fantuz, Getzlaf, and Bagg always seemed to save their best game for when they played my Stamps. Hard to believe some team can’t use a Fantuz or Bagg to help them out. We just don’t seem to have the quality Canadian receivers we used to…

    • If these guys still had it, smart GM’s would be on them like white on rice, of course Jones would pass them by for Merv Fernandez and Earl the Peril

  19. Komodo Dragon // July 16, 2018 at 5:47 pm //

    Actually Yup I think Andy is retiring because after his ACL injury in late 2016 he has never gotten back to where he needed to be. Plus he was no longer worth the quid he expected to be paid.
    If Andy didn’t tear his ACL in late 2016. I’m sure he would have played this year and next year. Unfortunately those long lanky legs and his torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament that provides stability and strength to the knee joint. He just couldn’t get it right again

    • KD – Guess I was making more of a reference to not being carted off the field due to injury. Regardless, he had a great run in the CFL

  20. Just a true genuine canadian and a great role model for our kids to reflect on.
    Good Luck Tuuuz!

  21. My memory of Andy is from the 13 Grey Cup. It was 2 in morning the night of, we had just won, and everyone was very full of adult beverages. I had wandered in to Trifon’s Pizza on Broad Street to pick up a super late second supper, and was trying to hold up a wall while it cooked. In staggered Andy, in as poor a shape as the rest of us, but of course from licking their wounds not from celebrating victory (Cats were staying nearby at what used to be called the Regina Inn). He was greeted very warmly, and everyone got one of his famous smiles. A high class guy, hope we see him on the sidelines coaching somewhere yet again.

    • You were still celebrating at 2 in the morning on a Sunday night? I can see the players doing that, not the fans. Guess you live vicariously through them.
      After a Stamps cup win, by 2 in the morning I’m already thinking of the next season (if I’m awake)

      • Historic McMahon // July 16, 2018 at 6:02 pm //

        If thats the case you’re a loser.

      • I’m betting these adults don’t have a 9 p.m. curfew like yourself manyhandles.

        • Stampeding // July 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm //

          They probably had a silver goblet received as a wedding gift, and were drinking champagne out it and shouting “Were going to Disneyland!”
          But they had to compose themselves for a few minutes when the Prime Minister called to congratulate them.

      • Ridersrule // July 16, 2018 at 6:24 pm //

        Wow you did it once again you are so simple in the head . Living vicariously through the players ? You are the poster boy for just that .

    • Great story grain. Do you know if the wall you were holding up stayed standing after your departure ? 🙂

  22. Oskee Wee Wee // July 16, 2018 at 6:17 pm //

    Will be missed certainly a great player. Should join the ticats as a receiver coach or something.

  23. Catsfan1867 // July 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm //

    I will still be proudly sporting my Fantuz jersey to games. I wish him all the best in retirement and happy I got to be there for his comeback game last season.

  24. Ditchbanger // July 16, 2018 at 6:52 pm //

    He also has a world record for one janes catches. Beat Odell Beckams record (crushed it actually). Balls thrown to him by Durant and Mitchell. Great video, recommend Googling it

  25. Very good career and a class act!

  26. I still think he could step in right now and be better than the current canuck receivers on this team. I watched some highlights from 2017 and he was catching everything thrown his way. Jones wants speed which Fantuz does not have anymore.I’ll bet he didn’t want to play for cheap.

    • Rumour has it // July 17, 2018 at 3:11 am //

      Fantuz never had speed. He was always on the slow side for a big receiver but he more then made up for that with good route running and those big soft hands which made him an incredibly reliable pass catcher. And classy as well.

  27. Ari Katz // July 16, 2018 at 8:18 pm //

    Is he retiring as a Ticat or a Rider? Hands down, Ticats should make room for Andy and have him be the receivers coach. One of the best Canadian receivers to ever play this game.

  28. Steve O // July 16, 2018 at 9:39 pm //

    What about coach Austin fan club?

  29. He was a Rider in his prime and was a big factor in 2007 Cup win..

  30. Fan favourite and difference-maker in both towns. I expect he’ll be honoured equally by each team as well.

    He’s been a smart player, and has seen it all. If he seeks a coaching position as his next challenge, there will be openings made available to him across the league.

  31. Tiger man // July 17, 2018 at 7:40 am //

    Glad to say I got several chances to watch Andy Fantuz play…better yet in a Tiger cat uniform.

    Clutch receiver and tough.

    Best wishes and thank you Andy for being a great Tiger cat.

  32. Outwest // July 17, 2018 at 9:44 am //

    Heck of a ball player and a heck of a role model for younger Canadian players coming up. He was always a threat when on the field and a game changer. Even though he always played for the enemy, I enjoyed watching him. Well done Andy, best of luck to you in the future.

  33. All players time runs out eventually. Andy overall had a good career. Not so much a great career with his injuries it definitely hurt his stats. Won a Grey Cup, gave the NFL a shot can’t ask for more than that.

  34. Wasn’t sure about Fantuz when he came to the Cats. He was big hype in Saskatchewan and I thought his ego would be over inflated here. He proved to be a team player and did great things in Hamilton. It’s a shame we couldn’t have him back. Needed to make room for new players. It’s a pity that at a certain age, you are considered past your prime. I’m sure he would have put more points together with the Cats.
    Wishing Andy all the best in his future endeavours. Maybe he can come back in a coaching capacity. He has the know how and the drive.

  35. There is only one Canadian receiver in the league now that will be a 1,000 yard receiver.

  36. Fantuz is a stunted drip. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out

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