The Toronto Argonauts announces a two-year deal with J’Michael Deane, one of the biggest CFL free agents on the market, as their offseason plan picks up.
Ricky Ray can sleep better now, knowing that J’Michael Deane will be in front of him to start the 2017 season. The 30-year old offensive lineman is regarded as one of the top lineman in the CFL and a big addition for the Toronto Argonauts.
Deane was rumoured to be considering offers from Toronto, Hamilton and Saskatchewan. He ultimately decided to choose Toronto, a city that he is familiar because his mother lives here and from his time with the Metro Toronto Wildcats of the Ontario Varsity Football League, as Paul Taylor wrote about earlier this week.
After a slow start to the free agency period the Argos have been pushing forward. They have added former NFLers’ Kendall Hunter, Cabriel Brooks, Tramain Jacobs, James Wilder Jr. and Anthony Morris.
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The Double Blue have also brought in receivers Khalil Paden and Jeff Fuller, defensive backs Rico Murray , Matt Webster and Johhny Sears. In addition, they extended Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and Sean McEwen, in what has been a busy month.
Deane is the standout from the group of free agents the Argonauts brought in and if the team is able to protect Ray, it will keep him on the field longer. Hunter or Wilder Jr. could prove to be viable replacements for Brandon Whitaker who the Argos decided to move on from.
The Argos also announced that Marcus Brady would return as offensive coordinator and Corey Chamblin would assume the role of Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach. Brady and new head coach Marc Trestman have a strong history together, including back-to-back Grey Cup titles in Montreal.
Chamblin was a successful head coach for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, winning the CFL coach of the year in 2013, and two Grey Cup with Saskatchewan and as a member of the Calgary Stampeders. He and Brady will be critical in getting Trestman up to speed with the CFL game after his time in the NFL and should bring stability to the Argos’ coaching staff for the foreseeable future.
The Argos still have work to do, especially replacing receivers Diontae Spencer and Kenny Shaw, who signed with Ottawa. However, they are in a much better shape now than a month ago.