The writing was on the wall, for now, former Argos’ defenders DE Ja’Gared Davis and LB/DB Chris Edwards. The moment the Grey Cup champs came to terms with Stampeders pass rusher Folarin Orimolade and Alouettes strongside linebacker Adarius Pickett.
The big-ticket acquisitions by the Boatmen opened the pathway for Davis and Edwards to set sail elsewhere.
The Double Blue duo of JaGared Davis and Chris Edwards have signed on with Argonauts’ archrival Hamilton in the first wave of CFL 2023 free agency.
The Ti-Cats have been very active in free agency. Hamilton, who has made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, including two trips to the Grey Cup during that stretch, is trying to get back to the mountain top. But they must first get through the 18-time champs, the Boatmen. The offseason moves by the Tiger-Cats, including the power play to get QB Bo Levi Mitchell, suggest they will be in a prime position to challenge Toronto in 2023.
JaGared Davis One And Done With The Argos
32-year-old Veteran DE JaGared Davis has been the ultimate good luck charm for CFL teams. He returns to Hamilton a champion once again. And will look to make an unprecedented seventh consecutive Grey Cup appearance. The incredible run dates back to the 2016 season.
Davis, 32, suited up in 14 regular season games and two playoff games for the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts in 2022, registering seven sacks, 36 defensive tackles, one tackle for loss, and four pass knockdowns. The 6’1, 238-pound native of Crockett, Texas, has played 89 games over six seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Argonauts (2022), Tiger-Cats (2019-22), and Calgary Stampeders (2016-18), registering 256 total tackles, 49 quarterback sacks, three interceptions, ten forced fumbles, and two defensive touchdowns.
The SMU product is a three-time CFL East Division All-Star (2019, ’21, ’22) and has played in the Grey Cup game in each of his six seasons in the CFL, winning the championship twice (2018, ’22).
The Enigmatic Chris Edwards Ends His Run In The 6iX.
For better or worse, Chris Edwards has been, pound for pound, one of the best defensive players in the CFL for the last two seasons. The versatile 6’2, 217lb college safety from Idaho has starred as a strongside linebacker but even stepped up to play some cornerback the previous season for the Argos.
2022 wasn’t as great for Edwards as his first Argos campaign in 2021. However, he ended last season on a high note netting two sacks in the 2022 playoffs en route to winning a championship. Edwards missed the start of last year, serving a six-game suspension due to an unfortunate altercation with rowdy Ti-Cats fans in 2021’s East Final.
When healthy and on his game, there’s no doubt that Edwards is one of the CFL’s most impactful defensive players.
Chris Edwards was all over the field in his debut 2021 season in Double Blue, netting All-Star honours, posting 38 total tackles and three sacks while intercepting three passes for a league-high 162 yards and two touchdowns. The five-year CFL veteran’s three picks were a career-high and tied for third-most in the league this season. Edwards played all 14 games that season and was tied for first on the Argos in interceptions, second in sacks, and fourth in total tackles.
The bottom line is that Chris Edwards and JaGared Davis were big-game performers who stepped up for Toronto in their most crucial spots last season. Hamilton is banking on them doing the same in 2023.
Argos 2023 Free Agency Update
In case you missed the flurry of moves in CFL free agency yesterday. Three other 2022 Argos players departed on the open market. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed OL Philip Blake and WR Juwan Brescasin. Offensive linemen Justin Lawrence has inked up in Montreal with the Alouettes.
Toronto officially added five new players to their 2023 roster.
Argos New Free Agent Additions
|Adarius Pickett||DB/LB||Signed (02/14/23)||MTL|
|Folarin Orimolade||DL||Signed (02/14/23)||CGY|
|Thomas Costigan||DL||Signed (02/14/23)||MTL|
|Mario Villamizar||FB||Signed (02/14/23)||BC|
|Darius Ciraco||OL||Signed (02/14/23)||OTT|
The Boatmen started the 2023 offseason with 26 pending free agents, and the Argos re-signed 14 players from their championship core. And now, as of press time, they have seven remaining free agents.
WR Markeith Ambles, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, DL Fabion Foote, LB Henoc Muamba, DE Shane Ray, WR Eric Rogers, and DB Shaq Richardson.
The big question remains, what will happen on the pivot for Toronto with McLeod Bethel-Thompson? The sense is that he wants to return. And that the Argos would like to have him back. The uncertainty is on what terms the two parties meet.
There’s also the matter of the unquestioned leader of Toronto’s team, Henoc Muamba. The Argos’ moves in free agency and their trade for Canadian linebacker Jordan Williams suggest that the sun is sailing on Muamba returning to his hometown team.
UPDATED 2023 TORONTO ARGONAUTS FREE AGENT TRACKER
|AMOS DaShaun||A||DB||East Carolina||Extended 02/05/23|
|BEDE Boris||A||K||Laval||Extended 02/04/23|
|BETHEL-THOMPSON McLeod||A||QB||Sacramento State|
|BLAKE Philip||N||OL||Baylor||Signed W/Saskatchewan 2/14/23|
|BRESCACIN Juwan||N||WR||Northern Iowa||Signed W/Saskatchewan 2/14/23|
|CAGE Isiah||A||OL||Carleton||Extended 12/09/22|
|CALVER Brandon||N||FB/LB||McMaster||Extended 12/28/22|
|DANIEL Robertson||A||DB||Brigham Young||Extended 01/19/23|
|DANIELS DaVaris||A||WR||Notre Dame||Extended 02/05/23|
|DAVIS Ja’Gared||A||DL||Southern Methodist||Signed W/Hamilton 2/15/23|
|EDWARDS Chris||A||LB||Idaho||Signed W/Ti-Cats 2/15/23|
|GITTENS JR. Kurleigh||N||WR||Wilfrid Laurier||Extended 02/03/23|
|HARRIS Andrew||N||RB||Nanaimo Raiders Jr.||Re-Signed 2/10/23|
|LATOUR Maxime||N||LS||Sherbrooke||Extended 02/04/23|
|LAWRENCE Justin||N||OL||Alberta||Signed with MTL 02/14/23|
|MCMANIS Wynton||A||LB||Memphis||Extended 02/04/23|
|METCHIE Royce||N||DB||Guelph||Extended 02/03/23|
|MUAMBA Henoc||N||LB||St. Francis Xavier|
|OUELLETTE A.J.||A||RB||Ohio||Extended 02/11/23|
|ROGERS Eric||A||WR||California Lutheran|
|SMITH Robbie||N||DL||Wilfrid Laurier||Extended 01/27/23|
|TATE Trevon||A||OL||Memphis||Extended 12/09/22|
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