Toronto Argonauts: Ricky Ray returns for one more season

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 26: Ricky Ray /

Ricky Ray has decided to return to the Toronto Argonauts for the 2018 campaign, as he looks to add to his already impressive legacy.

In the end, the old man decided he wasn’t quite ready to walk away just yet from the game he loves so much. Ricky Ray will return for a swan song with the Toronto Argonauts in 2018.

As reported by Dave Pollard of the Toronto Sun, Ray signed a one-year contract extension on Friday. He will play one final season, before finally walking off into the sunset. (Or should that be snowstorm, at least in Toronto?)

If the 38-year-old had decided to retire, no one would have blamed him. How many football players get the opportunity to go out on top, especially at such an advanced age?

In fact, Ray admitted he was seriously considering retirement, before deciding to return to the Double Blue. As reported by Pollard, the three-time CFL All-Star said:

"“(Retirement) definitely was on my mind. I knew really early on last year that I wanted to come back and play, but this year it just took me a bit more time. I was kind of back and forth a little bit but in the end I still have it, I still have that desire to come back and play and try to help this team.“It was just a feeling in my gut and when I had the feeling, you just know deep down.”"

Unlike the two previous seasons, this time Ray comes back in full health – at least as much as you can do, with 16 years of wear and tear in professional football. After only playing in 12 of a possible 36 regular season games during 2015-16, he started 17 last year.

On top of that, the former Edmonton Eskimo thrived under Marc Trestman, with one of the best ever statistical seasons of his CFL career. He finished 2017 with his second most passing yards and touchdown throws.

Ray also continued to excel with his accuracy. The 2018 campaign represented the fourth time in five years he surpassed 70 percent in his completion percentage. (He holds the top two CFL single-season completion percentage records, obtained in 2013 and 2016 respectively.)

On the subject of passing records, the 2005 Grey Cup MVP has the opportunity to move up the leader board in several categories this year. With 2,799 yards, he would move above Henry Burris into third place on the career passing yards list.

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With 10 scoring throws, Ray would move ahead of Ron Lancaster, into fourth place on the career passing touchdowns list. And 216 completions would see him surpass Damon Allen for second place on the all-time completions list.

Of course, this all pales in comparison to the four Grey Cups Ray has won, which are most all-time among CFL quarterbacks. Now, we wait to find out if he can add another championship to his Hall of Fame resume.

Unsurprisingly, Jim Popp is delighted to have the 2018 most outstanding player back for one more season. As reported by Pollard, the Toronto Argonauts general manager said:

"“Ricky Ray will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the CFL, but we are thrilled he’s not done adding to his historic career just yet. We are very excited to welcome him back for another season in the Double Blue.”"

No doubt, the coaches, players and fans are equally excited to witness one more season of Ray. Here’s hoping they can all help make the legend’s return worthwhile.

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What’s your take on Ray returning to the Toronto Argonauts for the 2018 season? Do you agree with his decision, or do you believe he should have retired? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.