Argonauts preparing for tough road ahead after disappointing season

Bo Levi Mitchell #19 of the Calgary Stampeders is sacked by Clayton Laing #90 of the Toronto Argonauts during first quarter action in the 105th Grey Cup Championship Game at TD Place Stadium. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)
Bo Levi Mitchell #19 of the Calgary Stampeders is sacked by Clayton Laing #90 of the Toronto Argonauts during first quarter action in the 105th Grey Cup Championship Game at TD Place Stadium. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Argonauts have a process in place to try and get the team back on track but it’s one that has a lot of players wondering what comes next.

One thing the Toronto Argonauts have preached over the past few weeks was trying to establish a core of players that they want to move forward with after a tough 4-14 season.

As players were cleaning out their locker rooms and having their meetings with the management and training staff, many of them were wondering what the future looks like for them. Of course, they understand the business aspect of the game that is about to play out.

More from Tip of the Tower

Michael “Pinball” Clemons and John Murphy to answer right now because they might not even know themselves and if they didn’t they won’t be quick to share that.

Before the Argos can address the roster, they have to decide how they will proceed with the coaching staff and that’s where most of the uncertainty lies. They were supposed to have meetings the past couple of days with the coaching staff to go over what went right and wrong this season.

Whether the team will be ready to make a decision on Corey Chamblin’s future remains to be seen but the head coach wasn’t going to make any predictions either.

"“It doesn’t matter what I think,” he said during locker room cleanout day. “I thought we’d win the Grey Cup and we fell well short.”"

Now Chamblin has made it clear he would be willing to give up his duties as defensive coordinator and just be the head coach if management wanted to bring someone in. That decision could be impacted by how other teams decide on their head coach positions.

This will be a big decision going forward and it will also impact other choices they will have to make especially with players the team deems core members of the roster. Priority number one will be deciding which quarterbacks are brought back and if they want to go after another quarterback.

In a recent interview with 620 CKRM radio, Clemons said the team took calls on Derel Walker but wasn’t serious about moving him.

"“He is part of that base that we’re building on and he’s not a guy like Zach [Collaros] that would be a guy that we would want to go and see him have playtime or something like that,” said Clemons to Derek Taylor. “Those are the guys that we’re going to try to build around.”"

Walker led the team with 1040 receiving yards and six touchdowns despite missing three games and having a slow start to the season. He was also named the team’s MOP this season which shouldn’t be a big surprise considering the plays he made and some big performances.

Talking to the receiver on Sunday, he did not seem commital to where he will play next season which is expected considering how things went this season and having another chance to find a situation that fits what he wants.

"“I wanted to get through the season before I really started putting much thought into it. I haven’t put much,” said Walker on whether he’s entertained the idea of returning. “I do have a big decision to make. … A lot of things come to the table so I’ll have to sit back and just observe, you know, this whole year and just figure out what my best position will be going forward.”"

One player who made it know that he would like to be back is James Wilder Jr. even though it was a challenging year for the running back. He understands the team could go in another direction but was adamant about his desires.

"“I told Pinball that I wanted to follow in his footsteps. It’s very rare to be that guy who embraces the city and gets embraced by the city,” said Wilder Jr. “I let that be known and we’ll see how that goes.”"

Considering how Wilder Jr. has been embraced in this market especially with the younger fans is not something this team has had for the longest time. And while he had his ups and downs this season playing with broken ribs this season and being benched at times, Wilder Jr. found a way to come back and put up some trademark performances that made him the rookie of the year in 2017.

While it’s not the top priority going into the off-season, you have to wonder if this management group will feel the same way. They could decide to invest their cap space elsewhere or understand that there is a core player there to build with going forward.

Defensively, there are certainly the same question marks and the players didn’t have a lot to offer on their future. This is not a surprise with Jim Popp being relieved of his duties forcing this new management group to take a step back to figure out their next plan of attack.

They have the time now to put together their plan and while it might be tough to stay patient throughout this process, the Argos don’t want to dig a bigger hole that will get tougher to climb out of.

Next. Bills continue playoff push. dark

What do you think the Argos need to do moving forward? What should be their first move? Let us know in the comments below.