Toronto Argonauts general manager Jim Popp admits the team has been in conversation with the Travis Lulay in respect of their uncertain quarterback situation.
The Toronto Argonauts took their shot at Bo Levi Mitchell and they missed. However, you can’t blame them for going all-in on the CFL’s number one quarterback (and arguable number one player overall).
And when we say all-in, we mean all-in. As per TSN, the Argos reportedly offered Mitchell a four-year deal worth more than $800,000 per season; more than he accepted to return to Calgary.
Unfortunately for the Double Blue, because they concentrated all their efforts on the two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player, they lost out on the other big name quarterbacks. Trevor Harris signed for the Edmonton Eskimos, and Mike Rielly joined the B.C. Lions.
Talking of Rielly, his decision to head out West could play a pivotal role in who the Argonauts look to next, to solidify their quarterback situation. As per J.J. Adams of The Province, Rielly’s arrival in Vancouver could mean the end of Travis Lulay’s time with the Lions.
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As Adams explains, B.C. have invested a considerable amount of money in Rielly. As a knock on effect, they are unlikely to be able to afford to keep Lulay around as a backup.
This ties in with general manager Jim Popp’s appearance on Prime Time Sports on Wednesday, when Bob McCown’s sidekick John Shannon asked if the Argos were interested in Lulay. Popp said:
"“Travis is a guy that has worked with our offensive coordinator (and) our line coach. Travis has to do what’s best for him and his family. We’ve discussed that. We don’t know how real it is, but it’s been a discussion the entire time as a possibility if we didn’t land a Bo Levi Mitchell.”"
No one will mistake Lulay for the same player who took the CFL by storm in 2011. During that season he won the league’s Most Outstanding Player award and was named MVP after helping the Lions win the 99th Grey Cup.
Further, the two-time CFL West All-Star has been compromised by injuries in recent seasons, which has impacted his effectiveness and seen him losing his starting job. And yet, there is still real value in the Argos signing him.
As Popp said during his appearance on Prime Time Sports, James Franklin is the Argonauts’ number one guy moving forward. However, the GM did admit that Franklin could benefit from having a veteran presence in the locker room and meetings.
In addition, we know Lulay can still perform if called upon. Consider that in 2017 he set a CFL record for most passing yards when coming off the bench, with a career-high 436.
Last season offered further evidence of the 35-year-old’s value, when starting QB Jonathon Jennings continued his struggles from the previous campaign. As a result, Lulay took a trip down memory lane, playing in 12 games and having his most passing yards and touchdown strikes since 2013.
Of course, everyone realises signing Lulay would not be a long-term solution. It would still be on Franklin to justify Popp’s faith in him and prove he is the answer under centre.
Regardless, with Ricky Ray looking increasingly likely to retire, the Argonauts need some stability, experience and depth at the quarterback position. If the team can persuade Lulay to sign for them, it would represent a smart move.
Would you like to see the Toronto Argonauts sign Lulay? Or would you prefer the team takes a different direction in their quest to resolve the uncertainty at quarterback? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.