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Khalif Mitchell inks new deal with B.C. Lions

BC Lions defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell has turned to the piano in a effort to find some peace from the physical world of CFL football. FILE PHOTO: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards

Liam Richards/CP

The B.C. Lions won't be losing their piano-playing defensive lineman after all.

Khalif Mitchell, who became a dominant force in helping the Lions win the 2011 Grey Cup, has re-signed with B.C. rather than become a free agent next month. The 6-foot-5, 315-pound West Division all-star may have even attracted interest in the National Football League, where he had once played for the San Francisco 49ers.

"It's great news for our club, our fans and our league that Khalif has agreed to remain with the Lions," Wally Buono, the team's general manager, said in a Monday news release. "Khalif is a great player on the field and a dynamic personality that many of our fans have grown to love."

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When defensive lineman Eric Taylor was injured last season, Mitchell bulled his way into the starting lineup and never left. He helped B.C. to 54 sacks and dazzled his teammates with his piano playing ability.

"It's a great feeling to know that I am returning to the organization that gave me an opportunity to develop into the player I am today," said Mitchell. "There were choices out there, but in the end I want to be a Lion, I want to be part of this league and I want to spend more time in BC. We have amazing players on both sides of the ball and a very good chance to repeat as champions."

B.C. also announced Monday it had released defensive back Tad Kornegay.

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