Edmonton Elks re-sign DL Christian Rector, confirm signing of DL A.C. Leonard

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks. Photo edit: 3DownNation.

The Edmonton Elks re-signed American defensive lineman Christian Rector to a one-year contract on Wednesday and formally announced the signing of A.C. Leonard, which was first reported by 3DownNation on Tuesday.

Rector dressed for eight games this past season and made five starts, three at defensive tackle and two at defensive end. The 25-year-old made 13 defensive tackles and finished third on the team with three sacks.

“Christian made great strides last season,” said assistant general manager Geroy Simon in a statement. “When healthy he showed great ability to get to the quarterback. We look forward to his continued development.”

The six-foot-four, 270-pound defender first joined the team in 2021 when he made 10 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles over 11 games.

The native of South Pasadena, Calif. was named a team captain late during his collegiate career at USC where he made 107 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, five knockdowns, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one interceptions.

Leonard was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Tuesday ahead of a $40,000 off-season roster bonus.

The 31-year-old has made 234 defensive tackles, three special teams tackles, 39 sacks, six forced fumbles, and one interception over 97 career games as a member of the B.C. Lions, Riders, and Ottawa Redblacks.

“A.C. is a dynamic player and who’s an elite pass rusher,” said Simon. “We’re elated to have the opportunity to bring him to the Green and Gold and reunite him with [Chris] Jones.”

Leonard was converted to the defensive line in 2016 when Chris Jones was the head coach and general manager in Saskatchewan.