Argos All-Star Cornerback Jamal Peters is drawing interest from NFL teams this offseason. The CFL’s leader in interceptions in 2022, Peters has become one of the best defensive backs in Canada. And as a result, the big league south of the border has taken notice.
Argos All-Star DB Jamal Peters Drawing Interest From NFL Teams
In recent days, Jamal Peters has worked out for the Atlanta Falcons, and the Las Vegas Raiders. Several of the Canadian Football League’s top players, such as B.C. Lions QB Nathan Rourke, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers WR Dalton Schoen have been busy on the circuit trying out for multiple NFL teams this offseason.
The newly minted Grey-Cup Champion Peters was a standout high school athlete as a two-sport athlete out of Bassfield Mississippi. Peters was rated the No. 1 prospect in the state of Mississippi. He was ranked as the 40th best high school player in the country by ESPN.
As a WR, and DB in high school, Jamal Peters had 5 interceptions as a senior, while catching 28 passes for 581 and 6 TDs. His team won three-straight Class 2A state championships. As a basketball player, Peters averaged 18.2 points per game as a junior on the Bassfield team.
Peters’s athleticism, physicality, and ball skills have been on full display with the Argonauts in Canada.
Jamal Peters played college football for the Mississippi State Bulldogs from 2015 to 2018. He played in 46 games where he had 99 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, one sack, and two forced fumbles.
The 6’2 220lb Peters signed with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2019. However, an injury cut his time extremely short in the NFL. The Colts released Peters just days after signing him with an injury settlement.
The brief dalliance in the NFL is what led to Jamal Peters seeking playing time up north in Canada.
Up until now, despite his elite skill set. Peters has been off the NFL radar. But his resume and film in Canada over the last two years have been undeniable for scouts in America who monitor CFL action closely. As a result, It’s no surprise that Jamal Peters is getting looks.
Argos DB Jamal Peters Fast Ascent In The CFL
After a modest start in his rookie year in Canada where Jamal Peters played in 8 games in 2021. In a season where he registered 31 tackles, 1 special team tackle, and netted one interception for the Boatmen. Jamal Peters had a breakout year in his sophomore campaign in the CFL.
Peters made his first appearance on a Division All-Star team in 2022 and capped it off with a CFL All-Star nod. He led the CFL with six interceptions as well as interception return yards with 137 while returning one for a touchdown, while also notching 57 defensive tackles and one sack in 15 games. The Mississippi native had a hat-trick of interceptions during a week 12 matchup against Hamilton. In a week, where he was named the league’s top defensive performer.
Defensive backs in general don’t get enough credit. But in the CFL, playing the position can be more challenging than in the NFL. Because of the field dimensions, and forward motion by receivers. Making the transition as an American DB in Canada is not an easy one.
Jamal Peters in a short amount of time has proven himself to be one of the league’s most elite players at the position. At only 25 years old as of today, Jamal Peters is going to earn more shine if he stays in Canada or ends up with a fairer opportunity in the NFL.
Argos Facing Champion Problems
Notwithstanding, the possibility of the Argos losing quality players like Jamal Peters to the states this offseason. Toronto is faced with the typical challenges that championship teams encounter after achieving the ultimate prize.
The possibility existed of the Boatmen losing quality coaches off their staff this offseason. But fortunately for them, offensive coordinator Pete Costanza, and defensive coordinator Corey Mace are staying on board with the Double Blue. Both coaches were sought after this offseason by CFL teams but are staying in the Six.
However, it’s always possible that coaching opportunities could arise south of the border. In a candid moment after winning the 109th Grey Cup. Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie admitted that he entertained joining an NFL team in previous offseasons before sticking it out in Canada. But the reveal, even though it’s an accepted one, raises the reality that even an accomplished head coach like Dinwiddie could head for greener pastures down south if the right opportunity presents itself.
This period of the year for coaches is hiring and firing season. It’s an alarming but annual tradition in the NFL, that every year at this time, head coaches are given their walking papers. And as a result, dozens of assistants are thrown into the marketplace looking for work. New head coaches are eventually hired, and they sift through the coaching ranks looking to fill their staff.
Perhaps Argos’ assistants won’t be lured away to join colleagues south of the border. But it can’t be ruled out. Even at this juncture of the CFL offseason.
Keeping The Argonauts Championship Band Together
CFL free agency is less than two months away on Valentine’s Day. The Argos brain trust has been busy working on their offseason plan. Toronto has 23 pending free agents who could hit the open market.
TORONTO ARGONAUTS IMPENDING 2023 FREE AGENTS
|AMOS DaShaun||A||DB||East Carolina|
|BETHEL-THOMPSON McLeod||A||QB||Sacramento State|
|BRESCACIN Juwan||N||WR||Northern Iowa|
|CAGE Isiah||A||LB||Carleton||Extended 12/09/22|
|DANIEL Robertson||A||DB||Brigham Young|
|DANIELS DaVaris||A||WR||Notre Dame|
|DAVIS Ja’Gared||A||DL||Southern Methodist|
|GITTENS JR. Kurleigh||N||WR||Wilfrid Laurier|
|HARRIS Andrew||N||RB||Nanaimo Raiders Jr.|
|LATOUR Maxime||N||LS||Sherbrooke||Re-Signed 12/6/2022|
|MUAMBA Henoc||N||LB||St. Francis Xavier|
|ROGERS Eric||A||WR||California Lutheran|
|SMITH Robbie||N||DL||Wilfrid Laurier|
|TATE Trevon||A||OL||Memphis||Extended 12/09/22|
Recently, the longest-tenured Argo, Fullback Declan Cross announced his retirement from the CFL. Cross is going out on top as a champion. But he might not be the only Argonaut hanging up his cleats or parting ways with the team after hoisting the iconic Grey Cup trophy.
Grey Cup MVP LB Henoc Muamba and RB Andrew Harris could soon follow Cross’s lead of retiring in the coming days and weeks.
In my offseason preview article here at CFLNewsHub, I broke down every position and pending free agent on Toronto’s roster. The price of winning a championship is that other teams will certainly value your players more. It also doesn’t hurt as a division rival, to try and steal away some of the champion’s best players.
A win-win scenario for success-starved teams like the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Ottawa could very well break the bank for hometown star WR Kurleigh Gittens Jr. Losing a homegrown player like Gittens would be a crushing blow for Toronto.
Toronto’s front office led by Michael Pinball Clemons, Vince Magri, Jim Barker, Alex Russell, and their entire staff have some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks. Do they go all in again to defend their title, or does the team decide to turn the page on veterans like QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson in favor of rising star Chad Kelly?
Thus far, the Argonauts have brought back offensive tackles Isiah Cage and Trevon Tate. As well as long snapper Maxime Latour. But the heavy lifting will be deciding if the team is willing to dole out big dollars to keep superstars like Wynton McManis, Chris Edwards, JaGared Davis, etc
The truth is that if Toronto had fallen short of winning it all. They might’ve spared no expense to shoot their shot at glory again. But now that the team has indeed captured the ultimate prize. The Argos likely entertain an entirely different approach.
There’s always the danger after winning a championship of being inflicted with fat cat syndrome. The Argos aren’t starving anymore for a title. They have already eaten the grand entree. Because of that factor, it’s fair to wonder if the lack of hunger could hurt the football clubs’ chances of repeating as champs.
Boatmen Add Another KR/WR In Monmouth Standout Lonnie Moore
The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced on Wednesday that the team has signed American WR/RET Lonnie Moore IV (Monmouth).
Lonnie Moore IV, 24, spent time with the New York Jets this year at the team’s rookie mini-camp after a record-setting career at Monmouth University. The 5’10, 175lb WR/RET spent five seasons (2017-2021) at the New Jersey school where he finished as the Hawks all-time leader in kickoff return yards (1,839), sits second in career receptions (213) and all-purpose yards (4,880) and third in receiving yards (2,756). Moore IV, who hails from New Jersey as well, was a three-time First Team All-Big South selection.
The Argos have had recent success with American imports, RB Javon Leake, and Jeremiah Haydel in their return game. Leake in particular played a pivotal role in Toronto winning the Grey Cup against Winnipeg. But that hasn’t precluded the Boatmen from seeking more talent on special teams.
In case you missed it, Toronto did not renew or re-sign LB Eli Mencer, who was one of the team’s quality players on special teams. Mencer has signed on with the Edmonton Elks. The Argonauts and Mickey Donovan seem confident in their returning ST coverage players. The one area they keep adding to however is the return game. Toronto also recently added BYU standout WR/KR Aleva Hifo to the mix.
Lonnie Moore is yet another intriguing player hopping on board with the Argos. Moore doesn’t have the breakaway speed (4.58 in the 40) in the open field that Jeremiah Haydel (4.3) has for example. But he is a sure-handed player with great niftiness in the open field.
Toronto’s receiving corps next season could see some changes. Veterans Markeith Ambles, Juwan Brescasin, DeVaris Daniels, Eric Rogers, and KG3 are all pending free agents. Players like Lonnie Moore, Aleva Hifo, Damonte Coxie, and Jeremiah Haydel don’t figure to challenge for extensive playing time at receiver and slotback. But one of them could find an opening for playing time if there are multiple departures.
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