Ottawa's Alex Mateas announces retirement from the Redblacks

Ottawa's Alex Mateas will not be on the field when the Redblacks return to TD Place next week for the first time in two years.

The offensive lineman announced on Instagram he is retiring from football after a five-year career with the Redblacks.

"Well RNation, it has been an absolute pleasure representing you on the field and I will forever be grateful for the experiences and memories," said Mateas in a post on Instagram.

"My decision to retire from professional football has been difficult and ultimately comes down to health for myself and my family."

Mateas was selected first overall in the 2015 CFL Draft.  The 30-year-old was born in Ottawa, and played university football at the University of Connecticut.

"The only part of the decision that is very difficult is leaving the Team, Organization and Fans... in general and with this timeline," said Mateas.

"To all the Fans, Teammates, Coaches, Friends, Foes, Competitors and everyone in between... THANK YOU."

        View this post on Instagram                      

A post shared by Alex Mateas (@life.of.mateas)

In September, Mateas told CTV Morning Live he was working as a commercial real estate agent with Cushman and Wakefield Ottawa while the CFL season was cancelled due to COVID-19.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying it and trying to stay in football shape," said Mateas.

In June, wide receiver Brad Sinopoli announced his retirement. The Peterborough, Ontario native played for the University of Ottawa before being drafted by the Calgary Stampeders.

Both Mateas and Sinopoli were members of the 2016 Ottawa Redblacks that won the Grey Cup.

The 2020 CFL season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Redblacks training camp is set to start on July 10. 

The Redblacks will open the season Aug. 7 against the Edmonton Elks. The home opener is scheduled for Aug. 28 against the B.C. Lions at TD Place.