The Saskatchewan Roughriders are going to have some big shoes to fill.
A CFL source requesting anonymity told The Canadian Press on Monday that Riders veteran defensive tackle Scott Schultz will announce his retirement Tuesday.
An official with the Saskatchewan football club declined comment when contacted Monday night.
The six-foot-two, 292-pound Schultz is in his ninth CFL season, all with Saskatchewan. Schultz, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., has 178 career tackles and 35 sacks during his tenure with the Riders.
In five regular-season games this season, Schultz has three tackles for the Riders (3-2), who are tied with Edmonton (3-2) atop the West Division standings.
Schultz has been a durable player for the Riders, having missed just one game the past three years.
The Roughriders originally drafted Schultz, 31, first overall in the 2001 CFL Canadian college draft out of North Dakota.
Schultz was a four-year starter at nose guard for the Fighting Sioux and served as team captain in 2000.
At North Dakota, Schultz had 11.5 sacks and 146 tackles in 39 regular-season games. He was twice named a first-team conference all-star (1999-2000) and made the all-academic team in 2000.
Schultz signed as an undrafted free agent with San Diego in 2001, then joined the Riders to appear in eight games, starting four at defensive tackle. But he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002, only to return to Saskatchewan and suit up in the 11th week of the CFL season.
Schultz has become a mainstay of the Riders’ defence since then, anchoring a unit that has traditionally been among the CFL’s best. A rugged force on the defensive line, Schultz’s physical play and tenacity forced rival offences to often have men block him, leaving other Saskatchewan defensive lineman in one-on-one situations.
A career highlight came in 2007 when Schultz helped the Roughriders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-19 in the Grey Cup at Rogers Centre in Toronto. It was only the third CFL title in franchise history and the club’s first since 1989.
Schultz had a tackle and fumble recovery in the Grey Cup contest.
Schultz recorded a career-high 32 tackles in 2003 and two years later had a career-best nine sacks.