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Edmonton Elks sign veteran CFL players Lawler, Gainey and Korte

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks made a big splash on the first day of CFL free agency.

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks made a big splash on the first day of CFL free agency.

The Elks signed receiver Kenny Lawler and defensive back Ed Gainey, both Americans, as well as Canadian offensive lineman Mark Korte on Tuesday, less than two hours after the start of free agency.

Lawler's one-year deal is reportedly worth $300,000, which would make him the CFL's highest-paid non-quarterback.

In all, Edmonton made 11 moves. The Elks also signed linebackers Deon Lacey Tobi Antigha, Adam Konar and Nakas Onyeka, defensive lineman Mak Henry as well as receiver Jalin Marshal.

The Elks also signed rookie linebacker Quart'e Sapp and released linebacker Keishawn Bierria.

The six-foot-three, 197-pound Lawler had 64 catches for a CFL-high 1,014 yards with six TDs in 13 games last season with Winnipeg. He helped the Bombers win consecutive Grey Cups during his two seasons with the club.

Gainey joins the Elks after five seasons with Saskatchewan. The five-foot-11 193-pound Gainey registered 309 tackles, 36 special-teams tackles, one sack and 23 interceptions in 126 career CFL regular-season games with the Riders (2016-19, 2021), Hamilton (2014-15) and Montreal (2012-13).

Gaineys best season was in 2017 when he had 10 interceptions for then Riders head coach Chris Jones, who's now with Edmonton.

The six-foot-two, 293-pound Korte returns home after spending his first three CFL seasons with Ottawa (2018-19, 2021). The native of Spruce Grove, Alta., played collegiately at Alberta.

Lacey returns to Edmonton after spending the '21 season with Saskatchewan, where he registered 54 tackles in 13 regular-season games. The six-foot-two, 229-pound Lacey spent three years with the Elks (2014-16), helping the franchise win a Grey Cup in 2015 before spending four seasons in the NFL (2017-2020) with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press