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QB1 Up For Grabs After Argos Sign Nick Arbuckle

While Chad Kelly serves a 9-game suspension the Toronto Argonauts have created competition for the starting QB job after signing Nick Arbuckle.

The Toronto Argonauts have signed quarterback Nick Arbuckle. Arbuckle spent part of 2021 with the Argonauts during which he threw 1,158 yards, 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He played 7 games for the Argos that season, starting four, before he was traded to Edmonton. Ironically, part of the trade which sent Arbuckle to Edmonton was the right to negotiate with Chad Kelly.

The 30-year-old has been around the CFL since 2018 when he signed with the Stampeders. From there he moved to Ottawa for the un-played 2020 season. He was traded from Toronto to Edmonton only to be traded back to Ottawa in 2022. In 2022 he started 11 games the most in his career. That season he threw 3,291 yards with six touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Over his 78 CFL games played Arbuckle has started 24 games. His career completion percentage is an impressive 68.2 with 7,156 yards. In in six seasons in the league he has thrown 23 touchdowns with 29 interceptions. On 101 rushing attempts as a short yardage QB he has 13 touchdowns 263 yards rushing.

So, who will be the starting quarterback in Toronto?

With preseason set to start this week the job is up for grabs between Cameron Dukes and Arbuckle. Dukes has been with the team since 2023 during which he had two solid starts. A game in Winnipeg saw Dukes complete 70.8 percent of his passes for 231 yards and in a late game in Ottawa he put up 317 yards, the first 300-yard game of his career.

At present the team is preparing to be without quarterback Chad Kelly for the first half of the season. Kelly, who led the Argonauts to Grey Cup victory in 2022 and started most of 2023, is currently facing a minimum 9-game suspension. While he remains undecided as to the course of action he will take Kelly has the right to appeal the suspension. If he took this route Kelly would be eligible to play until the appeal has been handled.

The Cuts Continue

The Arbuckle signing comes on the heels of the Argos releasing QB Hunter Raquet as well as receiver Savon Scarver.

Raquet’s last year of football was in 2022 playing for Colorado State University at Pueblo. In 11 games he threw 2,316 yards for 27 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions, completing 58.8 per cent of his passes.

Scarver played 5 games for the Redblacks in 2023. He had 7 receptions for 69 yards and returned 3 punts for 18 yards. He was released by Ottawa in July 2023. He spent his collegiate career with the Utah State Aggies during which time he made 55 receptions for 757 yards and 5 touchdowns. He returned 107 kicks 2,935 yards for 7 touchdowns.

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Matthew Harrison
Since my I attended my first Blue Bomber game at Canad Inns Stadium in the very early 2000s, I have been a passionate follower of the CFL. Watching from home week in and week out or spending an evening losing my voice at a game, I have always loved this league. This year I'll be covering the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts, two promising teams, each with a chip on their shoulder coming into 2024. Follow me here to stay up to date with what you need to know going into gameday.
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