02/15/2013 12:32 EST | Updated 04/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Eskimos sign defensive lineman Odell Willis to kick off CFL free agency

The Edmonton Eskimos dipped into the CFL free-agent pool to sign defensive lineman Odell Willis on Friday.

The six-foot-two, 265-pound Willis had 23 tackles and six sacks last year with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Willis enjoyed his best CFL season in 2011 with Winnipeg when he was a league all-star after registering 27 tackles and 13 sacks.

The former University of West Georgia star began his CFL career in 2009 with Calgary and had six sacks his first nine games before being dealt to Winnipeg.

The Bombers traded Willis to Saskatchewan on March 22, 2012 for a second- and fourth-round pick in the 2012 CFL draft.