Since the current free agency list from all teams in the CFL was posted by the CFL on December 1st, 2022, the Edmonton Elks took more of the trimming approach to the current roster for the time being.
Quick note: There were reports prior that Derel Walker was still signed for 2023. This is not the case with the current list via the CFL. Moreover, it was reported by RB James Wilder Jr via his Twitter account that he has been released by the Edmonton Elks. At the moment, there is no mention of the release on the Edmonton Elks site.
|ANTIGHA Tobi||A||LB||Presbyterian College|
|ARCENEAUX Emmanuel||A||WR||Alcorn State|
|BONNER Tim||A||DL||Florida Atlantic|
|CARTER Duron||A||DB||Florida Atlantic||Released 12/01/22|
|CERESNA Jake||A||DL||Cortland State|
|DECOUD Treston||A||DB||Oregon State||Released 12/01/22|
|GAINEY Ed||A||DB||Appalachian State|
|HENRY Makana||N||DL||Burlington Jrs.|
|LACEY Deon||A||LB||West Alabama|
|MARSHALL Jalin||A||WR||Ohio State|
|MILANOVIC-LITRE Ante||N||RB||Simon Fraser|
|MRABURE Ese||N||DL||Wilfrid Laurier|
|REAVES Jordan||N||LB||Brandon University|
|RECTOR Christian||A||DL||Southern California|
|RICHARDS Jeff||A||DB||Emporia State||Released 12/01/22|
|WALKER Derel||A||WR||Texas A&M|
|WASHINGTON Tony||A||OL||Abilene Christian||Released 12/01/22|
The following list of players was released on the December 1st, 2022:
- Duron Carter | AMER | DB | 6’5 | 205 LBS | 1991-03-22 | FT. Lauderdale, FL | Ohio State
- Treston Decoud | AMER | DB | 6’2 | 210 LBS | 1993-08-01 | Covington, LA | Oregon State
- Keisean Lucier-South | AMER | DL | 6‘4 | 235 LBS | 1997-03-17 | Santa Ana, CA | UCLA
- Jeff Richards | AMER | DB | 6’2 | 200 LBS | 1991-01-03 | Del City, OK | Emporia State
- Brady Sheldon | AMER | LB | 6’5 | 230 LBS | 1993-02-23 | Novi, MI | Ferris State
- Tony Washington | AMER | OL | 6’7 | 318 LBS | 1986-02-17 | New Orleans, LA | Abilene Christian
All six players appeared with the green and gold for 51 games for the 2022 season. The most notable roster players that were dismissed are veterans Duron Carter, Treston Decoud, and Tony Washington.
For Carter and Washington, injuries would take their toll when both players were absent on the roster for a considerable amount of time during the duration of the 2022 season.
Decoud was more stable in the group as far as man-games played are concerned. He started in all 18 games primarily at halfback. He would record 41 tackles and one sack in 2022. However, with the defensive secondary being beaten with the deep ball on multiple occasions in 2022, changes will have to be made going into 2023.
Time to Sign Current Roster Players
Nonetheless, it will be business as usual as it is with all teams in the CFL. When it comes to a busy season for any pro football team, the high end of turnover could be in the area of close to 30% of a teams roster.
Here are two players that the Edmonton Elks must sign prior to free agency.
Although he missed 6 games due to various injuries, he anchored the defensive line and collected 10 sacks in 2022. The Elks should make Jake Ceresna a priority 1 signing. More importantly, make the signing in the area of 2-3 years to improve the growth of the team going forward.
You wonder what could have been if Kenny Lawler was not lost for 2022 after week 12. His numbers were still impressive with 58 receptions, for 894 receiving yards, along with 5 touchdowns. This was also at the time when consistency with the offense was not as prevalent as it was in the latter part of the last five games of the 2022 season.
When he signed in 2022 on a 1-year deal, the Edmonton Elks went all in signing Lawler to a $300,000 contract. The signing was very steep, but the team did need a shot in the arm offensively. If they can also go along the lines of a 2-3 year term on whatever that monetary value is, then this will only be a big boost for the offense in 2023.
The 2023 Season Has Got to be an Improvement
After back-to-back basement seasons, the Edmonton Elks have got to be a competitive team in 2023. With that, it only makes sense to sign players that are from the current team’s free-agency roster. This will only add to the growth of the team moving in the right direction.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of growing pains when you are on a rebuilding team. If there is any indication in the last five games of the 2022 season, then the Edmonton Elks are heading in the right direction. However, they cannot have another 3-4 win season as it has in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
Its time for the Edmonton Elks to start turning the corner in 2023, and possibly challenge for a playoff spot.
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