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Edmonton Elks sign Grey Cup-winning defensive lineman Shawn Oakman, four others

Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman Shawn Oakman (90) pumps up the crowd in the second half of their CFL football game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Toronto, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Cole Burston / The Canadian Press) Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman Shawn Oakman (90) pumps up the crowd in the second half of their CFL football game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Toronto, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Cole Burston / The Canadian Press)
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Defensive lineman Shawn Oakman headlined a group of five players the Edmonton Elks signed on Sunday.

Linebacker Derrick Moncrief, defensive lineman Noah Taylor, along with national wide receiver Zach Mathis and global linebacker Les Maruo also inked deals.

Oakman joins the Elks after being released by the Toronto Argonauts on June 11.

The six-foot-nine lineman spent three seasons in Toronto (2021-23), where he won the 2022 Grey Cup, was twice named an East Division All-Star (2021, 2022) and a CFL All-Star in his rookie season.

In 45 career CFL games, the Philadelphia native has recorded 90 defensive tackles, 18 sacks and two forced fumbles.

Moncrief returns for his second stint in Edmonton after spending the last two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The veteran linebacker suited up in nine games for the Elks in 2021, recording 24 total tackles and four sacks, while being named Edmonton's Defensive Player of the Year. ​

A one-time CFL All-Star (2019) and a two-time West Division All-Star (2019, 2022), Moncrief has played 75 regular season games with Saskatchewan Roughriders (2017-19, 2022-23) and the Elks (2021). The 31-year-old has 248 defensive tackles, eight sacks, nine interceptions and one forced fumble over his career.

Maruo played the last three seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2021-23) after being drafted fourth overall in the 2021 Global Draft. The native of Yokkaichi, Japan registered 44 total tackles and two sacks in 38 career games for the Blue Bombers.

Mathis was selected by the Elks in the supplemental draft held on June 29.

Taylor started eight games for the University of North Carolina as graduate student in 2022, totalling 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two pass breakups before suffering a season-ending right knee injury.

The Elks (0-4) released American linebacker Reynard Ellis and wide receiver Malik Flowers on Sunday, along with national defensive back Josh Hagerty.

Edmonton is on a bye week but returns to action next Sunday when it hosts the Ottawa Redblacks (2-2).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2024.