EDMONTON, AB – Who will be the newest members of the Edmonton Elks?
CFL Free Agency is quickly approaching, with the frenzy set to begin at 10:00 a.m. MT on Feb. 13. The Green and Gold find themselves in a solid position entering the silly season, with the fewest remaining free agents in the Canadian Football League.
To prime EE fans for the week to come, GoElks.com has compiled a list of all the players currently under contract with the club, those whose contracts will expire on Feb. 13, and a list of the top CFL free agents at each position.
For the fifth instalment in the series, we’ll take a look at the Elks secondary.
Currently under contract: Darrius Bratton, Devodric Bynum, Jeremie Dominique, Marloshawn Franklin jr., Kai Gray, Jalen Green, Scott Hutter, Cail Jackson Jr., Malik Jones, Bruno Lagace, Donnie Lewis Jr., Marcus Lewis, Chauncey Moore, Leon O’Neal Jr., Donovan Olumba, Loucheiz Purifoy, Brendon White
Pending free agents: none
CFL top 30 free agents: Jamal Peters (30) Toronto Argonauts, Stavros Katsantonis (22) Hamilton Tiger-cats, Demerio Houston (20) Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Brandon Dandridge (19) Ottawa RedBlacks, Adarius Pickett (8) Toronto Argonauts
WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT & WHO’S AVAILABLE?
The 2023 Elks defence featured a young and inexperienced secondary, but with a lot of upside.
With a full season under their belt and some added continuity, the sky is the limit for a group that includes the West Division nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie Kai Gray. He’ll be joined by a returning Marcus Lewis, Darius Bratton, and Marloshawn Franklin to support a unit that contributed eight interceptions in 2023.
The veterans of the group are the experienced and versatile Luncheiz Purifoy and Canadian Scott Hutter. The 31-year-old Purifoy is entering his eighth CFL season after a successful 2023 that saw him record three picks, returning two of them for touchdowns.
Hutter is back for his fifth season in the Green and Gold since being drafted in the sixth round (50th overall) in the 2019 CFL Draft by the team. The safety has been both a special teams stalwart and a starter as the last line of defence in his time with the Elks, a role he should continue to occupy in 2024.
Out is long-time CFL veteran Ed Gainey, who was released by the team on Jan. 23. The 33-year-old has been an outstanding player in the league for many years, but the Elks movement towards youth required more opportunity for the young guys to play and grow.
The CFL top 30 free agents posed some intriguing options for General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones, but all have been reportedly snatched up.
A potential option for the Elks could have been Toronto Argonauts star Jamal Peters, who comes in at number 30 in the rankings. The 6-foot-2 corner has the size that Jones covets from his defenders and has collected 10 interceptions in the last two CFL seasons, but reportedly agreed to terms on a deal with Hamilton during the CFL Communications window.