The Toronto Argonauts have been busy with the free agency negotiating window open and it looks like they are just getting started.
If there is one thing CFL free agency has taught us throughout the years, you can expect plenty of movement especially when it comes to the Toronto Argonauts.
The team announced that they were bringing back McLeod Bethel-Thompson on a one-year deal with the 31-year-old expected to compete for the starting job. Alex Taylor has more on the signing here.
Bethel-Thompson wasn’t the only move the team made and there has been a lot of additions and subtractions to the roster made. Here is a breakdown of what has happened and what could be a possibility down the road.
Nichols close to signing despite Bethel-Thomspon deal
With Bethel-Thompson signed and expecting to compete for the starting job, many people were wondering if that means the door is shut on Matt Nichols?
Apparently that door remains wide open according to TSN’s Dave Naylor, who reported that a deal with the Argos is close but not done yet.
Naylor also provided a breakdown of Bethel-Thompson’s contract and based on his salary and incentives there is still room to add another quarterback. Considering Bo Levi Mitchell makes $700,000 per season and Mike Reilly is making $725,000 so the Argos could bring in another quarterback and still come in around that figure.
Nick Arbuckle is expected to make $470,000 with incentives this season with the Ottawa Redblacks so you wonder if that is what Nichols would be looking to get from the Argos. Considering he has no other options to go to and compete for a starting job, Toronto could use that as a negotiation tactic and they haven’t exactly anointed Bethel-Thompson as the starter.
"“Everybody expects that we will do the best we can and Mac expects that we are going to put the best team together that we can,” general manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons told TSN’s Matthew Schinnati about whether they are going to bring in another quarterback like Nichols.“We won’t speculate about different things like that, those things are not useful. …It’s our job to bring in other guys who challenge him to that point so that we get better as a group.”"
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops but it sounds like it could be done sooner rather than later.
Natey Adjei returning to Toronto
It was originally reported by TSN’s Davis Sanchez that Natey Adjei is going to sign with the Argos and a source indicated to me that it’s pretty much a done deal.
The 30-year-old receiver left Toronto in 2016 to go sign with the Eskimos after spending two seasons in the Double Blue. In 18 games last season, Adjei made 58 catches for 534 yards and two touchdowns and is a versatile player that can be used in many situations.
Considering how Derel Walker, S.J. Green, Armanti Edwards, Rodney Smith and Jimmy Ralph are free agents, the Argos need to get ahead and make sure they have weapons for whoever is starting at quarterback.
Chandley Worthy was signed to a three-year extension and the team made some minor signings but you have to expect that Green, Edwards and Smith could return unless they have more enticing offers elsewhere.
Sean McEwen returning home?
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Justin Dunk of 3downnation reported that Sean McEwen has an offer on the table from the Calgary Stampeders which is obviously problematic for the Argos.
The 26-year-old is considered one of the top Canadian free agents on the market and that shouldn’t be a surprise. He has been the top offensive lineman on the Argos for years and that group suffered a tough loss when Chris Van Zeyl was released and he joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Getting Jamal Campbell and Isiah Cage back is crucial for the Argos o-line to have some continuity but they should still be looking to keep McEwen but it’s going to be tough to keep the Calgary native from returning home.
Other areas still to address
Toronto acquired the rights to Bo Lokombo which should suggest the desire to bring the Canadian as a premier target in free agency. He played 15 games last season making 51 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. The Argos already re-signed Bear Woods and brought back Jeff Knox Jr. so it will be interesting to see where Lokombo fits in their plans.
The team also released Brandon Burks, Ryan Bomben, Anthony Covington, Jonathan Dowling, Quadarius Ford and James Wilder Jr.
We will keep you up to date on the latest news involving the Argonauts and what they have planned coming up.