Elks sign Canadian punter Jake Julien, release American DL Christian Rector

Courtesy: AP Photo/Andy Manis

The Edmonton Elks have signed Canadian punter Jake Julien after he was released by the Ottawa Redblacks as part of their final roster cuts early Saturday.

Julien was selected by the Redblacks in the fourth round of the 2021 CFL Draft but returned to school for his final season in the hopes of increasing his NFL prospects. The six-foot-two, 217-pound punter went undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft but signed as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots. He was released following New England’s first preseason contest where he dressed but did not register a statistic.

The Barrie, Ontario native spent five seasons at Eastern Michigan University where he punted 221 times in 54 games, averaging 44 yards per attempt. He pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 71 times in his career with 51 punts of his punts traveling over 50 yards.

Julien is now the only punter on the Elks’ active roster and is expected to start for the team in Week 1.

The club also announced the release of American defensive lineman Christian Rector and Canadian offensive lineman Jaylan Guthrie.

Rector has played 19 games for the Elks since joining the team in 2021, recording 23 defensive tackles, two special teams tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles.

Guthrie signed with the Elks last July. The six-foot-five, 315-pound blocker was a fourth-round pick of the Calgary Stampeders in the 2019 CFL Draft our of the University of Guelph. He has dressed for three career CFL games and started one at guard as a member of the Ottawa Redblacks in 2021.

In adherence with the CFL’s roster deadline, the Elks have designated 11 players to the practice roster, including American linebacker Tobi Antigha; defensive linemen Elliott Brown, Darel Middleton, and Marcus Willoughby; receivers Maurice Ffrench and C.J. Sims; and defensive back Antonio Mitchell. Also moving to PR are Canadian punter Michael Domagala, defensive tackle Olivier Charles-Pierre, and receiver Danny Vandervoort, as well as Global defensive tackle Adam Raine.

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