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Must Be The Money, BC Lions Release All-Star Safety

Every year it happens, before active roster bonuses are due players get released. This time it happened to 2022 CFL All-Star Loucheiz Purifoy. On February 15, 2023 he was set to receive a $30,000 bonus if he was still on the BC Lions active roster.

The 30-year old veteran has been around the game long enough to know the drill. It’s a sad reality with the ultra tight salary cap in the CFL. Purifoy will most likely land another contract somewhere in the league and with his release he has the opportunity to negotiate with other teams well before the free agency signing period starts in mid-February.

Purifoy played cornerback with the Florida Gators from 2011-13. He would declare for the NFL Draft, foregoing his senior season at Florida. As a result of off-field issues, including a narcotics arrest in 2013, he went undrafted. The Indianapolis Colts would sign him and he would play in eleven games before being placed on waivers. His release from the team was the result of a string of minor, in-house disciplinary issues according to an NFL source. The Seattle Seahawks would claim him off waivers but after failing his physical he would be placed back on waivers.

It was suspected that Purifoy’s failed physical was the result of testing positive for marijuana. The NFL suspended him for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, despite him not being under contract to any team. This basically blackballed him, essentially ending his NFL career.

In 2016 he made his CFL debut with the BC Lions, being thrust into the Canadian game by being positioned as the SAM Linebacker. The WILL and MIKE Linebackers in 2016 for the Lions were “Team 100” number 44 Adam Bighill alongside 56 Solomon Elimimian. Purifoy wore the number 0 so naturally the three of them remained “Team 100”. The trio of linebackers dominated the 2016 season, making Purifoy’s CFL debut season an impressionable one. He would play one more season with BC, before being offered good money to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2018.

The Redblacks would use Purifoy at cornerback. In a surprising move he would be released after 7 games. Ottawa GM at the time said about releasing Purifoy, “It was an accumulation of things — on the field and off the field. He’s a good football player, but there’s more to being a good football player than being somebody who can make plays on the field. There are other parts to that, too. You have to be a good teammate.” The Saskatchewan Roughriders would sign him a day later.

After two and a half solid seasons in the Roughriders secondary, Purifoy signed back by the BC Lions in 2022 after not being a contract in Saskatchewan. Before he left Saskatchewan he was involved in an ugly altercation at a local restaurant that had him placed in jail overnight. Even though no charges were laid, the commotion caused the week of the West Final was not ideal. It essentially led the team and him to part after the season.

After signing with BC in 2022, Purifoy earned his first ever CFL All_Star while playing safety. This individual has been through a lot of ups and downs in his football life. Since 2016 he has shown Canadian Football fans his immense talent. There is no doubt that if he wants to continue playing there will be a list of suitors. The Lions have cleared money this move as well with Bryan Burnham and Delvin Breaux Sr retiring. Two key pieces in their secondary, TJ Lee and Garry Peters are set to hit the open market if not signed by February 14. Purifoy was a gem at safety so when you see him released you know it must be the money.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Tress

    January 5, 2023 at 11:13 am

    It is about the money. CFL teams have a habit of releasing top players just before their off-season bonuses are due. They did the same thing to Johnny Manziel in 2019 as they did to Purifoy this season. It’s ticky-taky to say the least. Purifoy is a good football player.

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