Just when you thought the Toronto Argonauts were done making additions in free agency, they continue to make big splashes.
It had been long rumoured that the Argonauts were interested in Canadian linebacker Cameron Judge and while it’s surprising to see a deal get done, the groundwork was laid out beforehand. Make no mistake, adding Judge is the cherry on top of the Argos impressive off-season.
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The 26-year-old Montreal native is the prototypical ratio breaker in the CFL. Not only does get provide Toronto with flexibility on the defensive side of the ball but a legitimate star and playmaker.
"“Cameron is a game-changer,’’ defensive co-ordinator Glen Young said in a statement. “He is everything you look for, not only in a linebacker but in a great defensive leader. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to work with an athlete of this caliber.”"
Judge was nominated for Most Outstanding Canadian after making 61 defensive tackles, 11 special teams tackles, five sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and a touchdown. He earned some interest from NFL teams which led to him opting out of his contract.
He’ll certainly give Young options in the middle of the field with Bear Woods, Nick Shorthill, Nelkas Kwemo, Jordan Moore, Jack Cassar and Travis Feeney. He’s also not coming cheap either as TSN’s Farhan Lalji reported that Judge is going to make $137,000 in salary with a $45,000 signing bonus and could make up to $160,000 if he hits his bonus incentives.
Toronto Argonauts: Questions remain about team’s salary cap situation
As reported by 3DownNation, the salary cap for the CFL is set to be $5.35 million. With that baseline to work with, many around the league have been questioning the Argos highly active off-season considering all the big-name free agents they have been added.
We have seen teams rework deals with players or release them if an agreement couldn’t be made. This allowed Toronto to add Charleston Hughes after he was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
In his exclusive look into the Argos free agency war room, Mike Hogan was presented with this nugget from general manager Michael “Pinball” Clemons.
"“The reality is, we are in the middle of the pack,” explained Clemons. “Not only have we not exceeded the salary cap, we are behind several other teams.”"
We will obviously have to take Clemons’ word for the Argos salary cap situation because there aren’t many people who have the exact financial details. That includes the Argos front office staff, league operations staff and in player agents in some cases.
There aren’t many leagues that don’t offer salary information and this is something fans have struggled with in the CFL. Many would certainly like to know how much their teams are committing in salary and you have to wonder who is preventing that information from becoming public.
It would go a long way for the CFL and the CFLPA to consider making this a part of the next CBA which is set to expire before training camp begins in 2022.
What do you think about the addition of Cameron Judge? Does this put the Argos in the driver’s seat in the East? Let us know in the comments below.