Elks trade DL Jake Ceresna to Argonauts for Canadian REC Kurleigh Gittens Jr.

Photos: Timothy Matwey/3DownNation & Toronto Argonauts. Photo edit: 3DownNation.

The Edmonton Elks have traded American defensive lineman Jake Ceresna and the rights to American running back Khalan Laborn to the Toronto Argonauts for Canadian receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 CFL Draft.

Ceresna made 48 tackles and 12 sacks in 2023, setting new career highs in both categories, along with one forced fumble.

The six-foot-five, 295-pound defender came to the CFL with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2018 and ended up being traded to Edmonton the following season. Over 75 career games he has made 163 tackles, 37 sacks and six forced fumbles.

The 29-year-old’s tenure in the three-down league was broken up by a stint with the New York Giants in 2019. He was released at the end of training camp in August and returned to Edmonton’s practice roster near the end of that season.

The native of New Fairfield, Conn. was the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the CFL this past season. He is slated to earn $212,000 in 2024, per sources and could become a free agent in February 2025. Ceresna was named a league all-star in 2022.

Gittens Jr. made 35 receptions for 416 yards and one touchdown with the Argos this past season, a hip injury ended his season after 10 games in September. The Ottawa native had his best campaign in 2022 with McLeod Bethel-Thompson at quarterback, making 81 catches for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns. Bethel-Thompson recently became Edmonton’s franchise quarterback following a one-year stint in the United States Football League.

The 26-year-old was selected in the third round during the 2019 CFL Draft out of Wilfrid Laurier University where he was named the OUA’s MVP in 2017. He was named a CFL all-star and the East Division’s Most Outstanding Canadian in 2022.

Gittens Jr. is entering the second year of a three-year extension he signed last off-season, which made him one of the highest-paid receivers in the CFL. Per sources, he is set to earn $210,000 in 2024 with a $55,000 off-season roster bonus scheduled for Feb. 1.

This report was made with contributions from 3DownNation reporter John Hodge.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.