LB Tony Jones, fan favourite Global kicker Dean Faithfull among Elks’ final cuts

Photo: Timothy Matwey/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Edmonton Elks have released 29 players ahead of the CFL’s roster cutdown deadline, including former starters Tony Jones, Dean Faithfull, Marloshawn Franklin Jr., and Deontez Alexander.

Jones played in all 18 regular season games for the Green and Gold in 2023, making four starts at linebacker. He registered 41 defensive tackles, 11 special teams tackles, one sack and one forced fumble last season.

The Texas Tech product originally joined the team in 2022 after beginning the year on the Toronto Argonauts practice roster, suiting up in two games and recording a pair of defensive tackles and special teams tackles.

Faithfull was selected with the second overall pick in the 2023 CFL Global Draft and became the team’s starting kicker. The 37-year-old rookie converted on 22-of-28 field goal attempts, including from a long of 46 yards, while nailing 35-of-37 extra points.

The former professional soccer player played one season of college football at Colorado State University-Pueblo, hitting seven of his 12 field goals.

Franklin played eight games for the team in 2023, making several starts at safety. He recorded 28 defensive tackles and one interception.

The 27-year-old was previously a member of the Ottawa Redblacks and B.C. Lions in 2019, though he never dressed for a regular season game. The native of Detroit, Mich. played for the Hamburg Sea Devils of the European League of Football in 2021 and made 22 tackles, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles in six games.

Alexander was signed by the team in September of 2023 and dressed for two games, primarily as a returner. He fielded 11 kickoffs for 291 yards and scored the first return touchdown by an Elk since 2015 in the season finale. He was expected to take on a larger role in the receiving corps in his second season.

The six-foot-one, 196-pound target has previously had brief NFL stints with the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions, as well as with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and USFL’s Houston Gamblers. He was a two-time first-team All-HCAC selection at Franklin College, a Division III program located in Indiana.

The full list of players released by the Elks can be seen below.

  • American offensive lineman Desmond Bessent
  • National kicker Vincent Blanchard
  • American running back Jermaine Brown Jr.
  • American defensive lineman Randy Charlton
  • American linebacker Reynard Ellis
  • American receiver John Franklin III
  • National offensive lineman Alex Hall
  • American quarterback Malik Henry
  • American receiver Shane Hooks
  • American running back Ja’Won Howell
  • American defensive back Brian Hughes Jr.
  • American defensive lineman Jeremiah Jackson-Trotter
  • National defensive back Bruno Lagacé
  • American defensive back Donnie Lewis Jr.
  • American quarterback Woodrow Trey Lowe III
  • National offensive lineman Spencer Masterson
  • American quarterback Cole McDonald
  • American defensive back Chauncey Moore
  • American running back Camerun Peoples
  • American receiver Travis Rudolph
  • American receiver Jerminic Smith
  • National defensive lineman Jacob Spencer
  • American defensive back KiShawn Walker
  • American defensive back Brendon White
  • American defensive back Marquis Wilson

The team also added the following six players to its practice roster.

  • American defensive lineman Eric Black
  • American defensive back Kyle Cass
  • American defensive back Kordell Jackson
  • National offensive lineman Jaxon Morkin
  • National linebacker Olivier Muembi
  • American offensive lineman Tairiq Stewart

National fullback Brad Hladik was added to the team’s suspended list with the intention of returning to school.

The Elks will begin their regular season on Saturday, June 8 when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 7:00 p.m. ET.