REGINA - Ben Heenan, the first player taken in the 2012 CFL draft, announced his retirement Thursday.
The six-foot-four, 316-pound offensive lineman made the stunning announcement in a release distributed by his agent, Dan Vertlieb.
Heenan, 26, had signed with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts following the 2015 season. He attended the Colts training camp and was injured but later rejoined the club's practice roster in November.
Heenan, a native of Grand Coulee, Sask., was selected first overall in the 2012 CFL draft by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He played three years with the club and was the starting right tackle on the Riders' Grey Cup-winning squad in 2013.
Heenan started 46 regular-season games with Saskatchewan before signing with the Colts in February 2015.
"My achievements in football simply would not have happened without the outstanding people I have had in my corner, and I will be forever grateful to everyone who helped me play the game for as long as I did," Heenan said in a statement. "I look forward to seeing what life has to offer after football.
"I've always been told that when it's over all you have left are friends and memories- — I'm happy to be able to leave the game with plenty of both."
Word is this is all about farming and hitting it full time.
Seems extremely odd given his young age, however maybe the injury was something of a long term concern.
Health is certainly more important then Football, and in Saskatchewan for many, so is Farming. :cowboy:
Ben what are you thinking? As an ex farmer myself trust me there is no money in it. Loved the life hated the debt.
Congrats to Ben on his decision, Heenan makes a comeback in a year or two would still be huge.
Ben's 3rd generation farm is pretty a darned big operation. They do make pretty good money and have several employees...this isn't a mom and pop operation.
He has always said farming was his first passion, so kudos to him for going out on his own terms. There were a couple good articles I saw on this...I shoulda grabbed them and posted them....but this was not injury related nor concerns on concussion...he wanted to farm.
IMO the man has proven everything he needs to to himself in CFL (hence no return). He likely looked at the money he was making on a PR in the NFL and said...nope...not worth being off the farm for this. I am sure if something came up that looked promising to get on the game day roster he would bite. It is too bad, because they really liked him there and from the one article I read were pretty shocked by the move.