Argos trim their roster, but more moves looming
Who’s in, who’s out, who will soon be making his way out of town — the period to submit opening-week rosters ended late Saturday.
In the case of the Argos, they literally went down to the final minute before the league-imposed 10 p.m. deadline elapsed for teams to submit their roster.
For the Argos, a team coming off a wretched four-win season, there’s an added wrinkle given the club has a bye week before they take to the field for their June 22 season opener. They play at home against visiting Hamilton on a day when Ricky Ray will be honoured for his six seasons in Double Blue, which included two Grey Cup championships.
In other words, the Argos can still make roster moves, which seems like a certainty when you look at the roster.
Players have to go through waivers before being placed on the practice roster, players get released when they balk at such a move, personal issues that need a player’s attention often lead to players moving to the suspended list. And so it goes.
As an example, it was learned Sunday that James Wilder, the Argos’ presumptive starting running back, had to head back to his native Florida for personal reasons.
Toronto’s depth chart will see three international running backs: Wilder, Brandon Burks and Tyrell Sutton.
There’s no way the Argos are going to carry two American backs on opening day against the Ticats.
On the surface, the area the Argos must solidify the most is along the line of scrimmage, especially with an unproven James Franklin heading into the season as the team’s No. 1 quarterback.
The bye week to begin the season does provide the Argos with extra time.
In terms of name recognition, the two highest-profiled players to get released were Brandon Bridge and Anthony Coombs, both Canadians.
There is no question about Bridge’s athleticism and his ability to run certain offensive packages. But he is far from a finished product.
Rookie Michael O’Connor has a far greater pocket presence and touch on his throws.
What began as a six-horse race at the QB position has now been whittled to four.
Noah Picton, another Canadian kid whose talents do not justify the attention he receives by the media, was the first QB cut.
Dakota Prukop can play special teams having lined up in the past in the cover game.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson has had a great camp and threw the ball very well in the pre-season. To the shock of many, the Argos tried to move Anthony Coombs to wideout.
Under the team’s previous regime led by GM Jim Barker, the Argos viewed Coombs, a Canadian, as an Andre Durie type who can line up in the backfield or move to the slot position.
Coombs is a lot of things, but he’s not a wideout.
Sadly, he’s been plagued by injury, but in the right system Coombs is a valuable piece.
Another name fans will recognize is Tyler Crapigna.
Crapigna and Zack Medeiros were released as the Argos’ kicking game will feature Canadian Ronnie Pfeffer (punter) and American Drew Brown (kicker).
YouTube sensation Donald De La Haye agreed to join the practice roster.
The Argos don’t have much, if any, of a profile, but at least De La Haye has an audience, a young one at that.
Austin Duke, who caught two TD passes in the exhibition opener, was released.
Including O’Connor, the Argos kept six players taken from this year’s draft, which includes first overall pick Shane Richards.
ARGOS GO GLOBAL
Kimi Linnainmaa has emerged as the first global player to make the Argos.
The Finnish receiver was one of 18 players invited to the CFL’s combine as part of the league’s initiative to reach its appeal beyond the Canadian and American borders.
All teams must carry a global player on the active roster with two such global designations assigned to the practice roster.
In Toronto’s case, Christian Hernandez (linebacker) and Jose Casarrubias (defensive lineman) were added to the practice roster, a list that includes a handful of players who appeared in games for the Argos last season – Rodney Smith, Anthony Covington and Eric Striker.
More on this: 9 stories
- CFL teams reveal 10 players who are on their exclusive 45-man negotiation lists
- CFL teams reveal 10 players on exclusive 45-man negotiation lists
- O'Leary: Negotiation list a glimpse at CFL team wish lists
- Interest in CFL's global players sparks imminent Mexican streaming deal
- Montreal Alouettes' ownership chaos clouds CFL's 2019 kickoff
- CFL teams will carry one global player on rosters for 2019 season
- CFL teams will carry one global player on their rosters for 2019 season
- Argos trim their roster, but more moves looming
- QB Danny Collins among those gone as Ottawa Redblacks trim roster