The Edmonton Elks are one of just two CFL teams who will commence training camp on Sunday and have ensured their roster is ready, releasing 17 players in advance of opening day.
Among those handed their walking papers were Canadian safety Jordan Hoover and American defensive end Antonio Simmons, both of whom were defensive starters last season.
Hoover appeared in 13 of Edmonton’s 14 games in 2021, registering 46 defensive tackles, five special teams tackles, and one interception. Hoover’s highlight reel pick came in Week 10 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. was a fourth-round pick out of the University of Waterloo in the 2017 CFL Draft and has played all four of his CFL seasons in Edmonton. The former Ontario University Athletics all-star has 111 career defensive tackles, 23 special teams tackles, and three interceptions over 66 CFL regular-season games.
Simmons started the 2021 season with the Montreal Alouettes before being traded to the Elks as part of the Trevor Harris deal. In total, Simmons played in nine games (five with the Alouettes and four with the Elks) and collected 14 defensive tackles and three sacks.
The Georgia Tech product has played two seasons in the CFL, accumulating 59 defensive tackles, six sacks, and one forced fumble over 27 games. He previously spent time in 2018 with the NFL’s Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Also released were quarterbacks Khalil Tate and Keon Howard; kicker Josh Gable; receivers Dionte Sykes, Devin Heckstall, and Tremaine Ross; defensive linemen Darius Royster, Calvin Taylor, and Noah Jefferson; defensive backs Christopher Harris, Saquan Hampton, and Christian Angulo; linebacker Mar’quess Daniels; and offensive lineman Matt Womack. All players are American.
The team also announced the signings of National defensive back Nate Hamlin and kicker Scott Crough. Though he’s a native of Australia, Crough counts as a National after being grandfathered in under old rules. He last played with the Calgary Stampeders in 2012.