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Former Edmonton Eskimos receiver retires with green and gold

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Michael Coe (24) chases Edmonton Eskimos Fred Stamps (2) during first half action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday July 4, 2014. .
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Michael Coe (24) chases Edmonton Eskimos Fred Stamps (2) during first half action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday July 4, 2014. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Fred Stamps was one of the best receivers of his generation. The long-time Edmonton Eskimo announced his retirement from the Canadian Football League Tuesday, and he did it as an Eskimo.

Stamps signed a one-day contract with the team he led in receiving for five consecutive seasons between 2009 and 2013.

“It’s the only way to go out,” Stamps said. “Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo.”

Stamps played his final year in the CFL in 2015 with the Montreal Alouettes after being traded for receiver Kenny Stafford.

READ MORE: Kenny Stafford returns to the Edmonton Eskimos

The numbers for Stamps are among the best ever for an Eskimos receiver. His 496 receptions is third-most, behind Brian Kelly and Terry Vaughn, and his 7,932 yards put him behind only Kelly in Eskimos’ history.

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The native of New Orleans played eight seasons in green and gold and he registered five 1,000-yard seasons and was twice named the team’s Most Outstanding Player nominee.

The 37-year-old led the CFL in receiving twice and also had two 200-yard games.

“I really appreciate my time in the CFL and my time as an Eskimo,” he said. “It just was amazing. Even when I was in Montreal, I got the chance to be in the locker room with a great group of guys.”

READ MORE: Both sides say positive tone starts CFL bargaining talks

On Sept. 14, 2011, in Hamilton, Stamps hauled in 14 receptions in a game — one off the Eskimos’ team record and two off the CFL mark.

The only thing that eluded Stamps in his great career was a Grey Cup.

“For me to leave Edmonton [in 2015], it was something that — I felt crushed. It was tough because I knew that Edmonton was going to be in the Grey Cup in 2015. I just saw it. I knew it.
Things play out how it’s supposed to play out, but I’m just excited I get to retire with the green and gold.”

Stamps will return to the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on June 14 where he will be honoured by the club during its season opener against Montreal.

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– With files from Kirby Bourne, 630 CHED

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