The Toronto Argonauts announced that they released veteran Ricky Foley on Friday ending his second stint with the team in a bitter fashion.
It is never easy for a football player to learn that he is being cut, but Ricky Foley made sure that the Toronto Argonauts knew that he was not a fan of the way he was let go from the team on Friday morning.
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The Argos confirmed with the Canadian Press that Foley was contacted through a text message but also said that they had made several attempts to contact him on Thursday. They also informed Jonathan Hardaway, Foley’s agent, that they were planning on releasing him. There were reports on Thursday that the Argos wanted to restructure Foley’s contract which was up in 2018.
Scott Mitchell wrote in the Toronto Sun that the Argos were evaluating Foley’s contract situation and production well before the addition of GM Jim Popp and head coach Marc Trestman. He was reportedly due to receive a roster bonus before the team decided to cut ties with Foley who was awarded the top Canadian when the Argos won their last Grey Cup in 2012.
It is no coincidence that these tweets were sent out following reports that the Argos asked Foley to take a pay cut. Foley also missed the final four games last season with a nerve issue in his foot but said in a recent interview with Frank Zicarelli of the Sun that he would be good to go this season.
He only had 24 tackles, including four sacks last season after posting 45 tackles and six sacks in 2015. Was the foot injury a major reason behind the drop in production?
Foley had not missed any games in eight of the last nine seasons prior and had a career high 12 sacks in 2014 as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. There was fear that the injury to Foley’s foot would require surgery that could have impacted his future but he elected to rehab it instead. Foley was also looking forward to playing with Corey Chamblin, who he played under in Saskatchewan racking up 20 sacks in two season and a Grey Cup title in 2013.
Even with a decrease in production, Foley’s dedication to the Argos on and off the field as well as in the community made him a valuable member of the organization. When the Argos were without a GM and head coach Foley and teammate Shawn Lemon were doing their best to recruit players by making phone calls and sending text messages. His work in the community included many trips with the Argos Huddle Up bullying prevention program to schools in the GTA.
When the team brought in Popp and Trestman Foley felt a new awakening for a team that had gone through a tough stretch. His good friend and former Argos receiver Andre Durie retired from football after the organization told him that they were not bringing him back after 10 seasons with the teams.
Now it was Durie’s turn to have his friend’s back.
This is not a good look for the Argos, especially with two Canadian players that made significant contributions for the organization. Now the Argos are on the clock to fill the hole left by Foley’s departure with two months until players report for training camp.