Pending free agent offensive lineman Tony Washington says he has ‘parted ways’ with Edmonton Elks

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Offensive tackle Tony Washington has revealed that he won’t be returning to the Edmonton Elks next season, saying goodbye to the franchise with a pair of tweets on Thursday.

I’d like to thank the (Edmonton Elks) for the opportunity to play another season in my career. Thank you to (the) organization for being A-1 since day 1. Unfortunately between injuries and personal issues we have decided to part ways. I’m going to continue to train and prepare each day for the next opportunity… Thank you to the fans sorry for the year, I will come back stronger then before or move on…. To be continued….”

Washington is slated to hit free agency on February 14, though the Elks could elect to release him in advance of that date as a courtesy.

Acquiring the 36-year-old blindside protector was one of the first moves made by Elks’ head coach and general manager Chris Jones when he took over the position last offseason, trading defensive lineman Mike Moore for Washington and returner Martese Jackson. The veteran was part of the 2015 Grey Cup team during his first stint in Edmonton, also serving under Coach Jones. The pair also won a CFL championship together while they were members of the Argos in 2012.

The veteran ultimately started nine games at left tackle in 2022, before suffering a neck injury in Week 11 that left him sidelined for the remainder of the season. He was replaced by the 27-year-old Martez Ivey, who was acquired via trade from Toronto prior to the start of the season.

The 11-year CFL veteran has dressed for 138 career games with Calgary (2011), Toronto (2012-2013), Edmonton (2014-2016, 2022), Hamilton (2017-2018), and Montreal (2018-2021). He was famously part of the trade that sent former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel to La Belle Province from Hamilton, etching his name in CFL legend.