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Elks acquire Gittens Jr. from Argos for Ceresna

Kurleigh Gittens Toronto Argonauts Kurleigh Gittens Jr. (19) - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2024.