Edmonton signing Derel Walker means Greg Ellingson becomes most intriguing available playmaker in the CFL

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Greg Ellingson just became the most intriguing available playmaker in the CFL.

After Edmonton chose to sign Derel Walker over retaining Ellingson, the four-time all-star could now be had via trade or hit the free agent market.

That means Ellingson’s stint in the Alberta capital lasts just one season. He produced his fifth-straight 1,000-yard receiving year even though franchise quarterback Trevor Harris missed five games due to injury in 2019.

Harris restructuring his contract and committing to Edmonton without doing so in lockstep with Ellingson was the first sign the team was entertaining alternative No. 1 receiver options.

General manager Brock Sunderland had conversations about bringing Walker back in the past, however it never materialized until now. Even after Ellingson took a pay cut to stay with the team prior to the 2020 season, which was cancelled in August, Edmonton went with Walker who has had his durability questioned by rival general managers and talent evaluators around the league.

The 32-year-old Ellingson is a perennial 1,000-yard pass catcher and proven to be durable. He’s played 107 games recording 502 receptions for 7,265 yards with 41 touchdowns while averaging 14.5 yards per catch in seven CFL seasons. The six-foot-three, 197-pounder recorded seven grabs for 85 yards in Ottawa’s 2016 Grey Cup victory, an overtime upset over the Calgary Stampeders at BMO Field.

Ellingson is a dynamic target who can be productive regardless of who is pulling the trigger — Henry Burris, Zach Collaros, Harris, or Logan Kilgore. And no matter the offensive coordinator — Tommy Condell, Jason Maas, or Jaime Elizondo.

Adding Ellingson would instantly upgrade any passing attack in the league.

Naturally, rejoining Maas in Saskatchewan due to their connection could be a fit or Winnipeg with former his Ticats teammate. Ellingson played with Collaros, the current Bombers quarterback, in Hamilton during the 2014 season with the two connecting 32 times for 429 yards in nine games prior to a season-ending injury. His good buddy Brad Sinopoli remains in the nation’s capital and the Redblacks could use a true top target.

Ellingson’s possibilities seem endless as his next destination will be tracked closely because of his star status.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.