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DANIELE FRANCESCHI – Argos Admiral
TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts Football Club would like to congratulate non-import linebacker, Kevin Eiben, on his exceptional twelve-year CFL career, which included three seasons of 100+ defensive tackles, two seasons of 15+ special teams tackles, and one Grey Cup title as a member of the Argonauts in 2004.
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GALLERY: The Best of Eiben
Revered as one of the fiercest Canadian linebackers of all-time, Eiben was originally drafted by the Argonauts in the fourth round (26th overall) in the 2001 CFL draft and spent the first eleven seasons of his CFL career in Toronto from 2001-2011. In 2012, as a free agent, Eiben signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and spent just one season with the team. Over the course of his eleven-year tenure with the Double Blue, Eiben solidified his position as one of the greatest linebackers in team history.
Eiben, a three-time CFL All-Star (2004, 2005, 2007) and five-time East Division All-Star (2004-2007, 2010), holds many team records including the most tackles in a single-season by a non-import defensive player with 113. Eiben is also the first non-import defensive player in team history to record 100 defensive tackles in three seasons. His 703 defensive tackles currently rank second in franchise history behind current Argos Special Teams Coordinator Mike O’Shea and his 822 tackles.
Eiben’s 113 tackles in 2005 currently rank third in team history for most tackles in a single-season by an Argonaut defensive player. In addition to his 703 defensive tackles, he was also a significant presence on special teams as he recorded 81 special teams tackles in his time with Toronto. In 2002, Eiben led the Argonauts with 19 special teams tackles and the following year, in 2003, he led the Canadian Football League in special teams tackles with 33.
The 33 tackles on special teams are also a franchise record for most in a single-season, a record that was previous held for six years (1997-2003) by Mike O’Shea.
Along with his incredible tackling ability, Eiben recorded 15 sacks, 10 interceptions, and 11 fumble recoveries in 165 games (13th all-time) as a member of the Boatmen.
For over a decade, Eiben provided the Argonauts with stability and consistency at the linebacker position. During his eleven years in Toronto, Eiben was twice named East Division Most Outstanding Canadian and was also nominated on two occasions for the CFL Most Outstanding Canadian award.
In 2004, along with capturing a Grey Cup title, Eiben was nominated for Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian, and Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the Canadian Football League.
The former Argonauts’ Defensive Captain has also appeared in twelve playoff games with Toronto which is currently tied for the sixth most playoff appearances in team history.
In 2007, Eiben was nominated as an All-Time Argo and has since been added to the teams All-Time Roster. While Eiben may have said his final goodbyes as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the 33-year-old cemented his legacy in the Canadian Football League while donning the Double Blue.
Eiben will always be remembered as an intelligent player with tremendous character. He is an individual who consistently placed the success of the team ahead of himself.