February 12, 2024

CFL Free Agency Previews | Quarterbacks and Running Backs

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 final instalment in the series, we’ll take a look at the Elks quarterbacks and running backs.

Currently under contract: McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Todd Centeio, Jarret Doege, Tre Ford, Malik Henry, Steven Montez.

Pending free agents: none

CFL top 30 free agents: none (Dru Brown was number 27 prior to his trade and eventual signing with the Ottawa RedBlacks.


The Elks already made their big move at the quarterback position a month before free agency began when they locked up two-time Grey Cup Champion McLeod Bethel-Thompson to a one-year contract.

The veteran joins a QB room with a ton of youth and a lot of excitement. First up is Canadian sensation Tre Ford who flashed a ton of promise and off-platform ability in the second half of 2023. The 25-year-old led the Elks to a 4-6 in the final 10 games of the season while contributing 2,069 passing yards, 622 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns. Jarrett Doege also returns after flashing a gun-slinging mentality in his 65 pass attempts, averaging 10.4 yards per completion and throwing four touchdowns.

In the offseason, General Manager & Head Coach Chris Jones has added plenty of young depth to the Green and Gold, making training camp an exciting proposition to watch for Elks fans. Steven Montez is the all-time passing leader for the Colorado Buffaloes and spent time with both the Washington Commanders, Detroit Lions, and San Francisco 49ers.

Malik Henry of Netlfix Last Chance U fame, Todd Centeio from James Madison University, and Kaleb Elerby from Western Michigan University round out the ranks for the Green and Gold.

Taylor Cornelius is the one departure from the QB Room. The 28-year-old quarterback spent three seasons with the Green and Gold (2021-23), throwing for 5,868 yards and 25 touchdowns in 44 CFL games — including 27 starts — but was released on Jan. 9.


Currently under contract: Kevin Brown, Tanner Green, Brian Herrien, Sewo Olonilua, Justin Rankin

Pending free agents: none

CFL top 30 free agents: Javon Leake (21) Toronto Argonauts, A.J. Ouellette (7) Toronto Argonauts, Brady Oliveira (1) Winnipeg Blue Bombers.


The running back position is another spot the Elks are likely not going to be major players in. Feature back Kevin Brown has developed into a workhorse back for the Green and Gold over the last two seasons. In 25 career games in Edmonton, Brown has accumulated 2,025 total yards and six touchdowns – finishing second in the CFL in rushing in 2023.

Fullback Tanner Green is back for his sixth season with the EE, making him the longest serving player on the team. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound back is a special teams maven with 60 career special teams tackles and has contributed two receiving touchdowns on offence.

Georgia Bulldogs running back Brian Herrien bolsters the room with some big school pedigree, Sewo Olonilua spent two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, and Justin Rankin was a difference maker in the Indoor Football League.

When it came to CFL top 30 free agents, a bell-cow back like number-seven ranked A.J. Ouellette from Toronto or Most Outstanding Canadian and top-ranked free agent Brady Oliveira probably didn’t make a ton of sense for the Elks. The point became moot over the CFL Communication window when Oliveira re-upped with the Bombers and Ouellette reportedly agreed to terms with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

However, there are rumours of the Elks making a big splash on Tuesday. Free agent RB/KR Javon Leake from the Toronto Argonauts has reportedly come to terms with the Green and Gold during the CFL Communications window. The explosive return man returned four punts touchdowns last season in the Double Blue and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Special Teams player.