Toronto Argonauts: Ricky Ray should play it safe and retire


Ricky Ray isn’t ready to decide if he will return next season for the Toronto Argonauts, but it’s time for him to retire and ride off into the sunset.

The Toronto Argonauts have been here before with Ricky Ray, waiting for him to decide whether he will play another season. In fact, it’s happened twice, following the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

And now Ray will spend the upcoming months, contemplating whether to return for one last hurrah. He’s earned the right to do this, after everything he’s achieved during a magnificent CFL career.

However, this won’t make it any less tense for an organisation searching for direction after completing a terrible 4-14 campaign. Of course, this is assuming the Argonauts want the 39-year-old back, as a lot will depend on who takes over from the fired Marc Trestman as head coach.

Regardless, Ray updated the media on his thought process on Friday, in his first interview since being injured back in Week 2, against the Calgary Stampeders. As reported by the Canadian Press via Sportsnet, he said:

"“I don’t know, there’s just so many things that I’ve still got to think through, things I’ve got to kind of check off. I mean, I’ve put a lot of thought into it, to be honest, with what I want to do next year.”"

The big difference between Ray’s decision-making process after the 2016 and 2017 seasons, was time. While he knew early on after the 2016 campaign that he would return, it took him a lot longer the following year, as he went back and forth between playing again and retiring.

From the comments the three-time CFL All-Star made on Friday, it sure sounds like he will once again have many long nights of soul-searching during the coming months. As per the Canadian Press, he said:

"“Physically is it worth it? Physically can I do it? I’d still have the drive and still have the want to to do it, it’s just physically it’s been tough for me, my time here in Toronto with some of the injuries and now having a neck injury just puts more on to it. And then is there even an opportunity? There’s a lot of things that are just up in the air right now.”"

Now of course, mere mortals like you and I can never appreciate what Ray’s going though. You’re a long time retired from being a professional athlete, hence you want to keep playing as long as possible.

Still, it is this writer’s humble opinion that it is time for the 2005 Grey Cup MVP to hang up his cleats and retire. At this point, he has nothing left to prove.

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Ray has already secured his place as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the CFL. He is top of the heap when it comes to Grey Cup championships, with his four rings representing the most for any QB who has ever played the game.

The Happy Camp, California native also holds several statistical CFL records. These include the highest ever completion percentage and passer rating in a single season. (Both achieved with the Argonauts in 2013.)

Talking of statistical marks, Ray is never going to move to the top of the list in career categories, such as passing yards, touchdown throws or completions. So why continue?

And this is before we consider the health implications for the three-time CFL East All-Star. During these past four seasons, he has only played in 31 of a possible 72 regular season games.

In this respect, Ray’s most recent injury serves as the prime example of why it’s not worth taking any more risks. Toronto Argonauts players and fans alike remember the scary-looking incident against the Stampeders like it was yesterday; it was nearly 30 minutes before the veteran QB was finally taken off the field on a stretcher.

Overall, once again it is entirely understandable why Ray is contemplating returning for one more year. However, he needs to play it smart; it’s time to call it a career.

Next. Ricky Ray's top 5 career highlights. dark

What would you do in Ray’s position? Would you return for one final season with the Toronto Argonauts, or call it a career and retire? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.