February 8, 2022

Jones makes big moves to open free agency

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks’ 2022 roster came into sharper focus Tuesday, as general manager and head coach Chris Jones was busy on the opening day of CFL free agency.

In total, the Elks made eleven transactions on Tuesday, including the key additions of Kenny Lawler (WR), Mark Korte (OL), Ed Gainey (DB) and 2015 Grey Cup champion Deon Lacey (LB).

Also joining the Green and Gold were free agents Adam Konar (LB), Mak Henry (DL), Tobi Antigha (LB), Jalin Marshall (WR), and Nakas Onyeka (LB). In addition to those moves, Edmonton inked CFL rookie Quart’e Sapp (LB), and released Keishawn Bierria (LB).


Lawler comes to Edmonton after a standout 2021 season which saw him lead the CFL in receiving yards with 1,014. Photo credit: Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The CFL’s leading receiver in 2021, Lawler heads to Edmonton with two Grey Cup rings from his time in Winnipeg.

A seventh-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 2016 NFL Draft, Lawler first came to the CFL with the B.C. Lions in 2018, before signing later that year in Winnipeg. In his first season with the Bombers in 2019, he posted a team-high 637 receiving yards on 41 receptions and four touchdowns.

Last season, Lawler added six more touchdowns as the CFL’s lone 1,000-yard receiver (1,014 yards). The University of California product led the league in 30-yard receptions with 10, and second down conversion catches with 27.

Korte was a coveted free agent on the offensive line, as the versatile Spruce Grove native returns to Edmonton after excelling at the University of Alberta from 2014-17. Photo credit: Bears and Pandas Athletics.

Korte is back in Edmonton after spending the first three seasons of his professional career with the Ottawa Redblacks.

Originally drafted by Ottawa fourth overall in the 2018 CFL Draft, the University of Alberta Golden Bears standout returns to Edmonton with 48 career CFL regular season games under his belt.

Over four seasons as a Golden Bear (2014-17), Korte evolved into one of the nation’s top lineman. He was Canada West’s Most Outstanding Lineman in 2017, and helped pave the way for running back Ed Ilnicki to set a Canada West conference single-season record for rushing yards (1,468) and earn the Hec Crighton Trophy as the nation’s top university player.

Gainey is no stranger to Chris Jones’ defence after some tremendous seasons in Saskatchewan. Gainey’s best year came in 2017 under Jones when the DB had 10 interceptions. Photo credit: Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Gainey reunites with Chris Jones after spending three seasons together in Saskatchewan from 2016 to 2018. The Appalachian State product comes to Edmonton with 126 career CFL regular season games and 23 interceptions to his name.

A two-time CFL All-Star (2017, 2018), Gainey is coming off a 38-tackle season in 2021, which also featured three interceptions and one forced fumble. Gianey’s best season came in 2017 under Jones when he recorded 10 interceptions, including one for a pick-six.

Lacey returns to Edmonton for a second run with the Double E. The linebacker was part of Edmonton’s 2015 Grey Cup championship team. Photo credit: Edmonton Elks.

Lacey returns to Edmonton after spending the 2021 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, where he appeared in 13 games and recorded 54 tackles. Prior to his time in Saskatchewan, the West Alabama product played four seasons in the NFL (2017-2020) between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.

This marks the second time Lacey will don the Green and Gold, after playing three seasons with the Double E from 2014 to 2016. During his previous stint in Edmonton, he combined for 114 defensive tackles, seven sacks, three interceptions, and four forced fumbles.


For complete player bios, click the player links below.



  • Keishawn Bierria | AMER | LB | 6’1 | 223 LBS | 1995-07-26 (26) | Carson, CA | Washington