Goodbye Elks: Kenny Lawler bids farewell to Edmonton in Instagram post

Photo: Paul Swanson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

All-star receiver Kenny Lawler took to his Instagram page on Tuesday evening to say farewell to the Edmonton Elks mere hours after he reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

To @goelks and wonderful City of Edmonton, thank you so much for allowing me to represent this wonderful city and this amazing organization! From day 1, the the community and organization open your arms to my family and I and for that, we’ll be forever grateful! Bringing my family over for the the first time, I heard the transition could be tough, but everyone we crossed paths with helped make this transition easy as possible for us and has been a tremendous blessing to our lives! You took our little boy, watched over him, and helped him excel in so many ways! Thank you Edmonton for opening you home with love and care! It was an unbelievable time!!

Thank you [head coach Chris] Jones and all of Edmonton coaching staff! These men go to work every day, sacrificing time away from there families to coach a group of men to achieve success. Though we fell short, you all were never compromised in getting us to settle for nothing less than the goal we set out to achieve! Thank you for the great coaching! This season will be rememberable in many ways than people will know!!

And to my teammates, My Brothers! I’ve gained relationships this year that I know will last a lifetime! I’m more than grateful for that and to have been able to suit up with every last one of y’all!! It was a GREAT honor to go to war with y’all men!! We had some great battles that I will remember and tell my son and family about for years! But not only the battles, the time spent in the locker room, the conversations that were had, and the relationship that were made, I will remember forever!! Thank you men, I love y’all!

I wish nothing but the best for everyone in the City of Edmonton and the same for the @goelks organization!

Thank you!
Kenny Lawler

The post garnered almost 700 likes in the first two hours after it was posted. A number of CFL players commented messages of support, including Deatrick Nichols, Lucky Whitehead, Kai Locksley, Mike Beaudry, and Darvin Adams.

The 28-year-old earned $305,000 on a one-year contract with the Edmonton Elks in 2022, making him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the CFL. He caught 58 passes for 894 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games before undergoing surgery to repair a broken collarbone.

The six-foot-three, 197-pound target played 16 games with the Blue Bombers as a CFL rookie in 2019 to lead the team with 637 receiving yards on 41 receptions with four touchdowns. He started three playoff games and made eight receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown as the Blue Bombers won the 107th Grey Cup in Calgary, ending a 29-year championship drought.

In 2021, Lawler made 64 receptions for a CFL-leading 1,014 yards and six touchdowns over 13 regular season games as a member of the Blue Bombers, helping them win the 108th Grey Cup. He averaged 78 yards per game, 15.8 yards per catch and had a league-best 10 plays of 30 yards or more while catching passes from franchise quarterback Zach Collaros.

Pending free agents from around the league are currently permitted to negotiate contracts as part of the CFL’s “legal tampering” period that opened this past weekend. The window will close on Sunday, Feb. 12 before free agency officially gets underway on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at noon eastern time.

A team spokesperson confirmed that Lawler will be signing with the Blue Bombers, tweeting on Tuesday night that the star receiver is “coming home.”