Elks cut 18 after preseason finale, including former NFL draft pick Sammie Coates

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Edmonton Elks have released 18 players after wrapping up their preseason on Saturday night, including big-name former NFL players Sammie Coates and Jordan Lucas.

Coates signed with the Elks in free agency after spending two years on the suspended list of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, having never reported to the team. He caught three passes for 27 yards through Edmonton’s two preseason games.

The 30-year-old was selected in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He caught 29 passes for 528 yards and two touchdowns over 44 career games as a member of the Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans. Coates was also a member of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019 and the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks in 2020.

Lucas was a sixth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL Draft. He went on to play 19 games over two seasons with the club, playing primarily on special teams. His best season came in 2018 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs when he played all 16 games and started four, recording 32 tackles, a sack and an interception.

The Penn State product won the Super Bowl as a member of the Chiefs the next season, before signing with the Chicago Bears as a free agent. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 and last suited up in the NFL in 2021, playing one game with the Indianapolis Colts.

In total, the 29-year-old defender played in 50 games over the course of five NFL campaigns, notching 47 tackles, three pass deflections, a sack, and an interception.

Among other notable cuts, the Elks also parted ways with a pair of veteran Canadian cornerbacks in Hakeem Johnson and Jamie Harry.

Johnson came over in free agency after spending the last three seasons with the B.C. Lions after being selected with the 33rd overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 CFL Draft. He played in 16 games in 2022, recording three defensive tackles and four special teams tackles.

The 28-year-old has played in 38 career games, including several starts at cornerback, making 18 defensive tackles, nine special teams tackles, two pass deflections and one interception.

Harry appeared in nine games for the Elks in 2022 after being released by the B.C. Lions in late July. He started seven games at cornerback — five on the field side and two on the boundary side — and made 18 tackles.

The 28-year-old was originally a fifth-round pick of the Toronto Argonauts in the 2019 CFL Draft out of the University of Ottawa. He has made 27 career tackles over 22 games as a member of the Elks and Lions.

The full list of cuts includes American linebacker Josh Adewumi, receiver Trevor Begue, offensive lineman Javion Caldwell, defensive lineman Jordan Fletcher, defensive backs Ky’el Hemby and Kalen Hicks, running back Mekhai Johnson, and quarterback Khalil Tate. Canadian running backs Bertrand Beaulieu, Derek Best and J.P. Cimankinda, offensive linemen Spencer Masterson and Elijah Rose-Watson, and kicker Greg Hutchins were also released.

The Elks are scheduled to open their season at home against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday, June 11.