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Still Buckled to the Elks for ’22 – Arbuckle Talks Staying in Edmonton With CFL News Hub

- Photo courtesy of goelks.com

It didn’t take long for GM Chris Jones and his new Offensive Staff to restructure 28-year old Import Quarterback Nick Arbuckle‘s contract for the 2022 season. Arbuckle was traded to Edmonton from Toronto prior to the CFL trade deadline this past October. He was signed to an extension on November 1st by the Elks “Old Regime” management after taking zero game snaps with the Elks during their dismal stretch drive of the 2021 season. It took less than a month before Chris Jones reworked the extension with Arbuckle and it looks like he is here to stay and compete for the number one job.

As reported by TSN’s Dave Naylor,

“The @elks have redone the contract of QB Nick Arbuckle who originally signed for ‘22 under previous GM Brock Sunderland. New deal pays him same salary ($328k + plus $12k for housing) but $100k as a signing bonus. One year deal.”

— Dave Naylor (@TSNDaveNaylor) January 6, 2022

Arbuckle’s previous contract extension completed in November 2021, as then reported by TSN’s Farhan Lalji stated that Arbuckle was to receive $340,000 next season, along with a $5,000 signing bonus. Based on that, it appears that some minor tweaks were done by Chris Jones to give Nick Arbuckle some stability and guarantee in Edmonton.

Getting to Know Nick

Photo Courtesy of Jason Getz -USA TODAY Sports

Nick Arbuckle played his NCAA career with Georgia State where in his final season he passed for 3368 yards, 307 completions and 28 Touchdowns which was an All-Sunbelt Conference record. After a being undrafted by the NFL in 2016, he made a quick stop at the NFL Steelers Mini-Camp before landing with the Calgary Stampeders as a back-up for the 2017 season. Serving mostly as an insurance policy for starter Bo-Levi Mitchell, it wasn’t until Bo went down with an early season injury in 2019 did Arbuckle assume the starting role. In 2019, he threw for 2103 yards and 11 TDs until Mitchell returned as the starter against Edmonton in the 2019 Labour Day Classic.

In the off-season, Arbuckle was traded to Ottawa, but never suited up for the Redblacks as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown of the 2020 season. After being released in early 2021, he signed with the Toronto Argonauts where he started in four games before losing the job to veteran McLeod Bethel-Thompson. In October 2021, he became an Elk.

Soon after signing his new contract with the Chris Jones version of the Elks, Nick Arbuckle kindly took the time to answer the following questions to help Elks fans get to know him better.

Q&A with Nick Arbuckle

Q1 – How have you been spending the holiday season with your friends and family this year?

Nick Arbuckle – “The holiday season this year has been a whirlwind for my family. We had a big move to California and all the challenges that come with moving across the continent with a toddler. And then Covid making a big comeback really changed a lot of the plans we had made to get together with family around the holidays, so it’s been pretty low key for us.”

Q2 – The 2021 season came with some injuries and you spent time with both Toronto and Edmonton. What do you believe were your greatest accomplishments during the 2021 season?

Nick Arbuckle – “From January to November, I was actually a part of 3 franchises (Ottawa, Toronto, and Edmonton) and that is never what any player wants to do. However, I had some great experiences everywhere I went and made some tremendous relationships with people. The best on-field accomplishments I look back on from the 2021 season was my first start of the season against Winnipeg. Being able to put up over 450 yards of offense on that incredible defense and be the only QB to beat them in 2021 (when they weren’t resting key starters), while playing after only having 3 days of training camp practices and only 1 game-week of practicing as a starter following a cancelled 2020 season, is something I remember as a highlight from my season. But the biggest achievements, or best moments I look to when reflecting on the season come from off the field stuff. The relationships and friendships that I cultivated with players and coaches in both Toronto and Edmonton during the season were things carry on with me for the rest of my life. Nothing on the field can replace the moments that I had with some great people off the field. That goes for me, and my wife and daughter as well.”

Q3 –  What do you believe were your greatest disappointments from the 2021 season?

Nick Arbuckle – “The greatest disappointment from the 2021 season was not being able to lead a team as its starting QB for an entire year. That’s a very special opportunity to have and something that I will continue working as hard as I can to achieve. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout 2021, and my family and I learned a lot and moved a lot. But I know everything will be good and work out in the end, so if it’s not good at a particular moment, then I know it’s not the end.”

Q4 –  Edmonton Fans would have loved to see you start in the fall. Were you ready to go? Would you have made a difference?

Nick Arbuckle – “I would have definitely loved to start at the tail-end of the season as well. I really felt ready and I know the things I could have done on the field, but I also understood the really tough position the coaching staff and team was put in with 3 games in 1 week at the end of the year. I actually went into that marathon of a week with only 4 physical reps in practice with the team since I got there. Unfortunately with the timing of my arrival and the 1 week of 3 games that didn’t allow us to practice on the field at all, I didn’t get a chance to really practice with the team and so the coaching staff didn’t feel that they’d put me or the team in a fair position to put me on the field without any practice in the offense. But the competitor in me will always think I could have made a difference if I played, regardless of my practices, however, I also have a ton of respect and admiration for the abilities of Taylor and Dakota. I really like them a lot and I think they did a tremendous job in a tough situation to put us in a position to win some games down the stretch. I can’t wait to get back together with them for this next season.”

Q5 –  It appears that the Elks restructured your contract which seems to be a normal CFL trend occurring these days. What are your thoughts on CFL contracts that seem to be never honoured by teams?

Nick Arbuckle – “The Elks restructured my deal in a very favorable way for me, so I’m very happy about that. I was scheduled to get $340,000 in total for the 2022 season but with no signing bonus. Now, I’ll still be scheduled to make  $340,000 for the 2022 season but $100,000 of it was given to me up front as a signing bonus. In pro sports signing bonuses really help show some commitment from the club to the player, and that’s something that we as players are always hoping to have.”

Q6 –  Will you win the Starting Job with the Elks in 2022?   Why do you believe that?

Nick Arbuckle – “I would never predict myself to win the starting job. I have too much respect for the game and for the guys I’m competing against. I do believe I’ll be given a fair shot to compete for the starting job and I will do everything I can to be the best QB that I can be. That starts now with maximizing my time here in the off-season to get better every day so that I can help the team win and give the fans something by to cheer for.”

Q7 –  What is your relationship and experience with the new coaching staff?

Nick Arbuckle – “My relationship with the coaches that I know are hired already is great! I’m very excited to get to work with Coach McAdoo, Coach Jackson, and Coach Howell. I loved my time there in Toronto with them, and I’m very happy to get to develop more under their coaching. I also know Coach Jones is going to be a tremendous head coach and is exactly what we need in Edmonton to turn this thing around. I didn’t get to spend more than a few weeks with him in Toronto, but I immediately saw the difference he made in the defense from his very 1st day at practice. He brings so much to the team as a leader. Everyone is going to know exactly what is expected from them every day and the communication will be clear. I’m very excited to play for him!”

Q8 –  final question.  Now be honest.  Edmonton is way better than Calgary right?

Nick Arbuckle – “That’s not even a question!!”

I would like to personally thank Nick for taking time away from his family to provide his responses for CFL fans everywhere. This is what makes the Canadian game great, the connection between fans and players. Welcome to Edmonton Nick Arbuckle and family. (leave any Calgary Stampeder items in California please).

Photo courtesy of Cfl.ca

Darrell is a life-long CFL fan who is passionate about the 3 Down game. He has traveled to 17 different Grey Cup festivals and is a proud season ticket holder and Edmonton Elks fan.

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