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Edmonton Elks to Release Quarterback Taylor Cornelius

Photo via The Canadian Press (Jason Franson)

It appears that the Edmonton Elks are set to part ways with quarterback Taylor Cornelius as reported by TSN’s Farhan Lalji. The move comes a day after the Edmonton Elks have been approaching the post–Christmas holidays, as days (including yesterday), as a day to dump some salary.

The Amarillo, Texas native completed the 2023 CFL season with 103 pass completions, in 175 pass attempts, for a total of 1,305 passing yards. He would follow up with 5 touchdowns, along with 9 interceptions in a reduced role under center for the 2023 season.

During the latter half of the 2022 CFL season, Taylor Cornelius appears to be on the right track in developing as a quarterback in the CFL. With 12 games played, Taylor Cornelius would find his rhythm acclimating 2,768 passing yards, 11 touchdown passes, and 9 interceptions. He would also be effective in the running game in which he would collect 502 yards on the ground, along with 7 touchdowns.   

As the 2023 CFL season approached, there was a lot of optimism amongst Elks fans for Taylor Cornelius as far as the growth of their quarterback that was displayed in a short time, while mentoring quarterback Tre Ford as the future franchise quarterback in the City of Champions.

With a 0 – 9 start for the Edmonton Elks for the 2023 season, it was apparent a change in a signal caller had to be made. In week 10, it was announced that Tre Ford would be the starting quarterback.  

Looking back at the 2023 season, it’s unfortunate that Taylor Cornelius had not much to play with in regards to generating enough offence. The Elks’s offensive line appeared to be out-muscled on too many occasions in which Taylor Cornelius faced his fair share of being pressured. Mix in when the running game stalled, the passing game stalled, and then you have a quarterback forcing the ball way too much which was costly, to say the least. In the end, Taylor Cornelius now became a victim of a salary dump.        

He still showed a lot of leadership with the Elks in which he took the demotion unselfishly when Tre Ford obtained control of the offense. Taylor Cornelius would still be close-knit with Tre Ford in practice, on the sidelines, and reviewing plays on the tablet. He would collaborate on what worked, and what didn’t work, after an offensive drive. Taylor Cornelius would still go out there in the form of a short-yardage quarterback in the second half of the 2023 season and take a lot of physical abuse when either advancing the ball for a first down, or in that of a short-yardage touchdown for the Elks. 

Unfortunately, we will not know how good Taylor Cornelius could have been in Edmonton. As much as he did make mistakes while wearing the Green and Gold, it is not entirely his fault. The signs are there that he can be a good to great quarterback in the CFL from what he did show from time to time when he did have decent to good protection for him to develop a play.

As for now, Taylor Cornelius will be testing the free agency market in which in the CFL, having depth at quarterback is a key to success.

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Dino Sepe Reporter
Dino Sepe has been an avid sports fan since he was nine years old. He has read multiple books regarding sports history from various eras, the origins of the game, great dynasties, great coaches, and great players. Dino's experience in writing was obtained at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario through the Theater Performance program. As an avid football fan following the NFL, CFL, NCAA, and USports Football, Dino has been writing about the Canadian Football League in various capacities since 2019. In December 2021, Dino joined the CFL News Hub team. Dino is proud to be part of the CFL News Hub contributing team and looks forward to covering the Edmonton Elks going into the future.
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