Veteran kicker Boris Bede signs on with Edmonton Elks

TORONTO — It didn't take Boris Bede long to find a new CFL home.

The veteran kicker signed a two-year contract with the Edmonton Elks on Tuesday. The move comes a day after Bede was released by the Toronto Argonauts after three seasons with the East Division team.

Toronto also signed veteran Canadian kicker Lirim Hajrullahu on Monday.

Bede is reunited with quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Canadian receiver Kurleigh Gittens Jr. in Edmonton. All three were with the Argos when they won the 2022 Grey Cup.

The six-foot-four, 225-pound Bede was dealt to Toronto by Montreal in 2020 for Canadian kicker Tyler Crapigna. But he didn’t play that year as the CFL didn’t have a ’20 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bede’s best season with Toronto came last year when he hit 37-of-39 field goals (94.9 per cent) and accumulated 164 points. The Argos finished atop the East Division in all three seasons Bede was with the club.

Bede also handled kickoffs and was able to assume punting duties whenever Australian John Haggerty was injured. Bede made 108-of-127 field goals (85.0 per cent), boasted a 45.5-yard punting average on 139 boots and also handled kickoff duties with Toronto.

He also hit on 108-of-115 converts.

Bede, a native of Toulon, France, began his CFL career with Montreal (2016-2019). He played collegiately at Laval.

Toronto Argonauts sign Canadians Cassar, Mario to contract extensions

TORONTO -- The Toronto Argonauts signed linebacker Jack Cassar and defensive lineman Benoit Marion to contract extensions Tuesday.

The two Canadians were eligible to become free agents next week.

Cassar, 27, had two tackles, 14 special-teams tackles, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries in 18 regular-season games last year. The six-foot-four, 240-pound Mississauga, Ont., native will enter his fourth CFL season with Toronto.

Marion, a 28-year-old Montreal native, appeared in 16 regular-season games last season. The six-foot-five, 250-pound lineman had one tackle, nine special-teams tackles, two forced fumbles, and one sack.

Benoit has spent the last three seasons with Toronto.

The Argos also officially released veteran American Adarius Pickett, who promptly signed a one-year deal with the Ottawa Redblacks on Tuesday.

Saskatchewan Roughriders sign Canadian Onyeka to contract extension

REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed Canadian defensive back Godfrey Onyeka to a one-year contract extension Tuesday.

Onyeka was eligible to become a free agent next week.

The six-foot-two, 200-pound defensive back was limited to four regular-season games in 2023, missing much of the year with a torn pectoral muscle suffered during the preseason.

The native of Brampton, Ont., joined Saskatchewan in 2021 and has dressed for 11 regular season games during his time with the club.

The 29-year-old was selected in the second round, No. 10 overall, by Edmonton in the 2018 CFL draft. He went on to play two seasons with the Elks.

B.C. Lions sign Canadian linebacker Hladik to two-year contract extension

VANCOUVER -- The B.C. Lions signed Canadian linebacker Ben Hladik to a two-year contract extension Tuesday.

Hladik was eligible to become a free agent next week.

The 24-year-old had a banner 2023 season, becoming the first Canadian in club history to record 100 tackles in a season. He also had a career-high five sacks and an interception.

The Lions took the native of Vernon, B.C., in the third round, No. 22 overall, in the '21 CFL draft out of the University of British Columbia. He became a starter in 2022, recording 65 total tackles (59 defence, six special teams), two sacks and two interceptions in 18 regular-season games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2024.

The Canadian Press