The decisions have been made. The Edmonton Eskimos made their final roster moves Saturday ahead of the CFL deadline to reduce the roster to 46 players plus the practice roster and injured players.
After Thursday’s 38-38 tie in Winnipeg to end the pre-season, Eskimos head coach Jason Maas said on the 630 CHED Points After Show that nothing would be easy picking the 2017 Eskimos roster.
“I think this is the deepest team I have ever been around in my 16, 17 years in the CFL,” said the second-year head coach who made the decisions with general manager Brock Sunderland.
“It is never easy but it is extra tough this year.”
The Eskimos said goodbye to a couple of Canadian players that had been on the roster as special teamers for a while. Receiver Anthony Barrett and defensive lineman Elie Ngoyi were released. Barrett was going into his fourth season in green and gold, Ngoyi his fifth.
it’s been real. My contract just got terminated & I’m a free agent.I want to thank the Esks organization and fans. God has another plan 4 me
— Elie Ngoyi (@END70) June 16, 2017
The most familiar name among the 20 players released is running back, receiver and kick returner Kendial Lawrence who was back with the Eskimos after spending last year with Saskatchewan and Hamilton. Lawrence spent two years with the Eskimos and was a member of the 2015 Grey Cup Championship team.
Two members of that 2015 team are returning to the Eskimos. Offensive lineman D’Anthony Batiste who was not offered a contract as a free agent this off-season and receiver Kenny Stafford who was released earlier in the day by Winnipeg, have both accepted practice roster spots to start the season. Batiste is going into his fourth season with the Eskimos, Stafford spent 2016 in Montreal after winning the Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 2015.
I’m back pic.twitter.com/0df3SXEAxn
— Kenny Stafford (@Kstaff07) June 18, 2017
The Eskimos’ website still has 57 names on the roster so more decisions must still be made on 11 players who will likely head to the injured list.
The biggest star of the Eskimos’ two pre-season games, receiver Duke Williams who had six receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns has made the team. Quarterback Zach Kline who engineered part of the comeback tie in Winnipeg on Thursday has earned a practice squad spot. Kline threw for 217 yards and two TDs in his limited time on the field.
The Eskimos will be on the practice field on Tuesday for the first time as a team as they get set for the 2017 season opener in Vancouver on Saturday night against the B.C. Lions.
Released today by the Eskimos
· National running back Johnny Augustin
· National wide receiver Anthony Barrett
· National long snapper Casey Chin
· National line backer DJ Lalama
· National defensive lineman Mark Mackie
· National defensive lineman Elie Ngoyi
· National fullback Alex Ogbongbemiga
· International offensive lineman Cassidy Curtis
· International defensive back Ahmad Dixon
· International running back Marion Grice
· International wide receiver John Harris
· International defensive lineman Ikponmwosa Igbinsoun
· International line backer Jeremiah Kose
· International running back Kendial Lawrence
· International line backer Trent Matthews
· International defensive back Solomon Means
· International offensive lineman Darius Morris
· International wide receiver Jarvis Turner
· International wide receiver Ladarius Vanlier
· International line backer LaKeith Walls
Added to practice roster:
· National offensive lineman Kwabena Asare
· National defensive back Andrew Lue
· National wide receiver Scott MacDonell
· International offensive lineman D’Anthony Batiste
· International quarterback Zach Kline
· International defensive back Mercy Maston
· International defensive lineman Mike Moore
· International wide receiver K.J. Maye
International wide receiver Kenny Stafford
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