Elks land Canadian receiver Gittens from Argonauts for defensive lineman Ceresna

Edmonton acquired Canadian receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and a 2024 seventh-round draft pick from Toronto on Monday for American defensive lineman Jake Ceresna and the rights to American running back Khalan Laborn, a player off the Elks negotiation list.

Redblacks' oft-injured quarterback Jeremiah Masoli agrees to restructure contract

A football player is seen carrying a ball.
The Elks acquired Canadian receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr., seen above, and a 2024 seventh-round draft pick from the Argonauts on Monday for a package including defensive lineman Jake Ceresna. (Heywood Yu/The Canadian Press)

The Edmonton Elks obtained another target for new quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Edmonton acquired Canadian receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and a 2024 seventh-round draft pick from Toronto on Monday for American defensive lineman Jake Ceresna and the rights to American running back Khalan Laborn, a player off the Elks negotiation list.

Edmonton signed Bethel-Thompson to a one-year deal just over a week ago. Bethel-Thompson and Gittens were teammates in Toronto in 2022 when the Argos won the Grey Cup.

The five-foot-11, 191-pound Gittens, who played collegiately at Wilfrid Laurier, had a breakout 2022 season, registering 81 catches for 1,101 yards and five touchdowns — all career highs.

But a hip injury this past year limited Gittens to 35 receptions for 416 yards and a touchdown in 10 regular-season contests.

Toronto selected Gittens, 26, in the third round of the 2016 CFL draft. He was a CFL all-star in 2022 in addition to being the East Division's top Canadian.

The six-foot-five, 295-pound Ceresna registered 48 tackles and 12 sacks last season, both career highs. He also had a forced fumble and was named Edmonton's top defensive player the past two years.

Ceresna joins the Argos after four seasons with Edmonton. He began his CFL tenure with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2017 before being dealt to Alberta.

Ceresna has appeared in 75 career CFL regular-season games, registering 163 tackles, 37 sacks and six forced fumbles.

Masoli restructures contract with Redblacks

Veteran quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has a new deal with the Ottawa Redblacks.

Masoli, 35, was due a $100,000 bonus Monday as part of his previous agreement with the CFL club.

Ottawa could have released Masoli to avoid paying the stipend, but the two sides agreed to a revised contact for the upcoming season.

As part of the new agreement, Masoli reportedly received a $45,000 bonus as part of a $133,800 base salary. He could earn up to $236,800 with incentives.

Redblacks quarterback holds the football in his left arm while lowering his right arm to avoid a tackle attempt by an opponent during a CFL game.
Redblacks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli can earn up to nearly $237,000 as part of his restructured deal. He reportedly received a $45,000 instead of the $100,000 he was due Monday as part of his previous agreement. (Peter Power/Canadian Press/File)

The five-foot-10, 208-pound Masoli joined the Redblacks before the 2022 season. But he sustained a season-ending leg injury in 2022 that forced him to miss the first three games last year.

In his first game of the '23 campaign, Masoli sustained a season-ending torn Achilles tendon in a 21-13 loss to Hamilton on July 8.

The former Oregon star has appeared in just five games through two seasons with Ottawa, completing 90 of 136 passes (66.1 per cent) for 1,220 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Over 10 CFL campaigns with Hamilton and Ottawa, Masoli sports a 66.5 per cent completion average with 16,675 passing yards, 82 TDs and 53 interceptions while rushing for 1,546 yards (5.9-yard average) and 20 touchdowns.

The usual recovery time for ACL injuries is eight to 12 months.

Ottawa now has Masoli, Dustin Crum, Tyrie Adams (also recovering from injury), Tyrrell Pigrome and Jake Dunniway under contract. But Masoli has experience with new offensive co-ordinator Tommy Condell's offence from their days with the Tiger-Cats.

The Redblacks are also expected to be in the running for Winnipeg quarterback Dru Brown when CFL free agency opens next month.

Elks re-sign veteran defensive back Purifoy

Loucheiz Purifoy will return for a second season with the Edmonton Elks.

The veteran defensive back signed a one-year contract extension Monday with Edmonton. The five-foot-11, 190-pound Purifoy was scheduled to become a CFL free agent next month.

Purifoy, 31, had 49 tackles and three interceptions (two returned for TDs, tied for the CFL lead) last season, his first with Edmonton.

The former Florida Gator is entering his eighth CFL campaign, having also spent time with the B.C. Lions (2016-17, 2022), Ottawa Redblacks (2018) and Saskatchewan Roughriders (2018-19, 2021). Purifoy has appeared in 116 career regular-season games registering 331 tackles, 30 special-teams tackles, eight sacks, 19 interceptions (two TDs) and six forced fumbles.

Before coming to the CFL, Purifoy spent time with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts in 2014.

Lions sign receiver Hatcher to extension

The B.C. Lions re-signed American receiver Keon Hatcher to a three-year contract extension Monday.

Hatcher was slated to become a free agent next month. He's now under contract with B.C. through the 2026 season.

Hatcher, 29, registered 78 receptions for 1,226 yards and six touchdowns in 14 regular-season games last year.

Hatcher had nine catches for a career-high 195 yards and a TD in B.C.'s 41-30 win over Calgary in the West Division semifinal before suffering an Achilles injury in the club's 24-13 conference final loss to Winnipeg.

The six-foot-one, 212-pound Hatcher is entering his fourth season with B.C. He has registered 165 catches for 2,463 yards and 13 TDs in 43 career regular-season contests.

Tiger-Cats extend offensive lineman Murray

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats signed American offensive lineman Jordan Murray to a two-year contract extension Monday.

The six-foot-nine, 330-pound Texan made seven regular-season starts after rejoining the club during the 2023 season. Murray began his tenure with Hamilton in 2021 and was slated to become a CFL free agent next month.

He has also spent time with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts (2022-23) and Seattle Seahawks (2019) as well as the Spring League's Generals (2020).

Murray played collegiately at the University of North Texas.

Canadian Judge extended by Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders re-signed linebacker Cam Judge to a contract extension Monday.

The 29-year-old Judge was slated to become a CFL free agent after the 2024 season but is now under contract with Calgary through the 2025 campaign.

Contract details weren't immediately available but the six-foot-two, 234-pound Judge, a 2022 CFL all-star, reportedly becomes the league's highest-paid Canadian defensive player.

Judge had a career-high 90 defensive tackles (two for loss) last season along with two sacks, five interceptions (one for a TD), two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Over five seasons with Saskatchewan (2017-19), Toronto (2021) and Calgary (2022-23), Judge has registered 283 tackles, 22 special-teams tackles, 14 sacks and nine interceptions.

Last week, the Stampeders redid receiver Reggie Begelton's contract, also re-signing him through the 2025 season.

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