Toronto Argonauts: Signing Matt Nichols provides stability at quarterback

Matt Nichols #16 of the Edmonton Eskimos looks to throw a pass in a game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)
Matt Nichols #16 of the Edmonton Eskimos looks to throw a pass in a game between the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Roughriders. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images) /

With the Toronto Argonauts expected to announce a three-year deal with Matt Nichols, the team is making sure that the quarterback position has stability going into this season.

A couple of days after signing McLeod Bethel-Thompson to a one-year extension, the Toronto Argonauts were not done as multiple reports say that the team has an agreement with Matt Nichols on a three-year deal.

It’s no surprise to see that the Argonauts will head into training camp with another battle to see who will be the Week 1 starter against the Ottawa Redblacks. Last season, James Franklin was named the starting quarterback but also had to prove himself with Bethel-Thompson also competing for playing time.

Nichols was off to a dominant start to his season throwing for 1,936 yards and 15 touchdowns with five interceptions. On top of that, he was also completing just over 71 per cent of his passes, those numbers alone should have made Nichols a top free agent for any team looking for a quarterback.

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Unfortunately, his season was cut short after having shoulder surgery and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers decided to commit to Zach Collaros for two seasons after winning his first Grey Cup title. With the Ottawa Redblacks trading then signing Nick Arbuckle to a two-year deal, Toronto was the only landing spot for the 32-year-old.

What these past few days have ensured is that the Argos have some much-needed stability at the quarterback position which they have struggled to find for the past few seasons. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to have some healthy competition at training camp.

Much like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who will see Jeremiah Masoli and Dane Evans battle out for the starting job, expect the Argos to go into training camp with the same idea. People will look to Nichols getting three-years as the sure sign that he will be the starter but there are some factors to consider.

Nichols says that he will be healthy and ready to go when training camp opens and that’s encouraging but the Argos will likely make sure that there isn’t a chance for him to re-injure his shoulder. If Nichols comes in an is ready to go, it should only help Bethel-Thompson as well considering he is open to a challenge for the starting job.

This will be an intriguing storyline to follow during training camp especially with Ryan Dinwiddie’s background as a quarterback’s coach. Will the first-year head coach lean on the CFL veteran from Day 1 or will Bethel-Thompson be able to shine through the competition?

One thing is for sure, the Argos should feel a lot better about the depth they have at the position than they’ve had in past seasons.

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What do you think about the Argos signing Nichols? Is he the favourite to be the starter for next season? Let us know in the comments below.