As announced on 26 January 2022, the Edmonton Elks have brought back from the CFL past, former CFL all-stars, Adarius Bowman and Emmanuel Arceneaux. The 36 and 34-year-old receivers, make their return to the CFL for a final attempt at dominance with the Green and Gold. Bowman previously retired on 17 October 2019 and played his last professional football game with the Montreal Alouettes on 3 November 2018. Arceneaux, much like Bowman, hasn’t played in the CFL since November 2019, although he did play with the Frisco Fighters of the Indoor Football League in 2021. Much buzz and skepticism erupted throughout social medial whether or not these two previous stars still have enough juice in the tank to make an impact for the Elks. Tweets soon followed where fans joked that former Elks Alumni, Matt Dunigan and Henry “Gizmo” Williams were also bound to be signed next. Personally, I am VERY confident that both of these greats will make an impact in the 2022 season.
Dominant Past in CFL
Before we get all judgemental on whether or not Bowman and Arceneaux still can be a force for the 2022 Elks, how about we look back at their all-time CFL statistics (which are impressive).
Adarius Bowman – 6’3″ and 215 lbs. 9431 receiving yards and 49 touchdowns over 11 seasons in the CFL. He was a 2015 Grey Cup Champion with Edmonton and a three-time CFL All-Star (2014-2016).
Emmanuel Arceneaux – 6’2″ and 210 lbs. 8148 receiving yards and 57 touchdowns over 9 seasons in the CFL. He was a two-time CFL All-Star (2015-2016). He also spent two years in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Football Team, and the NY Jets. When asked about his age, time away from the CFL, and if he can still make an impact on the field, Arceneaux stated:
“It’s all about how you prepare and take care of your body.”Emmanuel Arceneaux – 28 January 2022
Both players remain in excellent shape (see Emmanuel Arceneaux working out in off-season). Both players are great community ambassadors. Both players bring experience, leadership, and a passion for winning back to the Elks. Of course, as previously stated by GM/HC Chris Jones, “there are no guaranteed roster spots.” Both Bowman and Arceneaux will need to compete for a spot coming training camp in May.
CFL News Hub in speaking with “The Manny Show” today, the father of two children aged one and three, is confident that he will bring to the Elks leadership and a willingness to contribute to the community of Edmonton.
“I’m coming in to make the organization [Elks] better. Everyone plays a role, including the organization, players, and fans…I want to build relationships with the youth in Edmonton…I want to make the guys in the room better.”Emmanuel Arceneaux – 28 January 2022
As a fan, it’s exciting to see a player of his calibre being so enthusiastic about getting into the community to support youth and to revive the Elks organization and its reputation.
Who are the Twelve Others?
- Sherman Badie – AMERICAN – RB
- Derrick Baity – AMERICAN – DB
- Matthew Elam – AMERICAN – DB
- Temuchin Hodges – AMERICAN – WR
- Caleb Holley AMERICAN -WR
- Nih-Jer Jackson – AMERICAN – WR
- Daniel Ross -AMERICAN – DL
- Joshua Simmons – AMERICAN – WR
- Calvin Taylor – AMERICAN – DL
- Matthew Wilkerson – AMERICAN – DL
Matthew Elam and Daniel Ross are definitely the other highlights of the new signings. Elam is formerly an NFL first round pick, drafted 32nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 NFL Draft. He played three years with the Ravens before moving on to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2018 where he played nine games for Chris Jones. He later played for the XFL DC Defenders in 2020 and the Tucson Sugar Skulls (IFL) in 2021.
Daniel Ross, original signed by Edmonton in 2014, played one game for Saskatchewan in 2016. He moved to the NFL in 2017 where he had stints with the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, KC Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most of his time in the NFL was spent on practice rosters or the injured reserve. With the Cowboys in 2018, he appeared in 13 games, where he had 10 tackles, one sack, 11 quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
12 Players Culled from the Herd
Soon after the above 14 players were added to the Elks 2022 roster, 10 current players were released by the Elks ahead of 2022 free-agency.
- Nate Anderson – NATIONAL – DL
- Tyler Higby – AMERICAN – OL
- Jonathon Mincy – AMERICAN – DB
- Hugh O’Neill – NATIONAL – K
- De’Ondre Wesley – AMERICAN – OL
- Darrell Brown – AMERICAN – OL
- Tarean Folston – AMERICAN – RB
- J.J. Jones – AMERICAN – WR
- Debione Renfro – AMERICAN – DB
- Albert Smalls – AMERICAN – DB
Hugh O’Neill, an Edmonton born, University of Alberta Alumni, previously played six seasons with the Elks (2013-14 and 2017-21). With all-star Kicker Sean Whyte still unsigned for the 2022 season, UBC alumni, Gregory Hutchins is the only kicker currently on the roster.
Thank you Hugh for your contributions to the Edmonton football community. We will miss the bearded kicker!
CFL Free Agency Approaches
The 2022 free agency period officially opens on 8 February 2022 at noon (Eastern Time). On 30 January 2022, the free agency “window period” opens. Teams and prospective players are afforded the opportunity to field offers from other teams ahead of the official opening of free agency. Expect a wild ride!
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