The Argos announced their first wave of player cuts on Sunday morning. Two days after playing their first of two preseason games. The Toronto Argonauts have parted ways with 10 players. Among the surprising departures are veteran QB Antonio Pipkin, DB Treston Decoud, and WR Chandler Worthy.
ARGOS TRANSACTIONS – MAY 29, 2022
TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced the following transactions today:
The following list of players have been released:
- American QB Antonio Pipkin
- American DB Treston Decoud
- American OL Jake Foshee
- American LB Jay Ajayi
- American LB Brady Sheldon
- American WR Chandler Worthy
- American WR Dres Anderson
- American DL Kendall Futrell
- Global K Toshiki Sato
- Global RB Asnnel Robo
Antonio Pipkin No Longer Argos QB2
The salary cap is certainly playing a factor in these difficult decisions. Chief among them is the surprising departure of CFL veteran Antonio Pipkin.
Pipkin, was Toronto’s only QB behind McLeod Bethel-Thompson with any CFL regular-season experience. His release is a vote of confidence toward CFL newcomer Chad Kelly. The Ole Miss superstar and former NFL draft pick has been impressive thus far with Toronto. However, the decision to roll with him as MBT’s caddy instead of Antonio Pipkin is a roll of the dice by Argos management.
Known mostly for his mobility, and utilized mostly last season as a short-yardage specialist. Pipkin (26), the former Tiffin alum, has been in the CFL since 2017, playing with Alouettes, and last season with the Boatmen. Pipkin has played in 34 career games with 7 starts on the pivot. As a passer, he has thrown for over 1,400 yards and four touchdowns, with nine interceptions. But as a runner, Pipkin has scored 14 touchdowns on the ground (449 yards).
It stands to reason because of his versatility and experience. Pipkin, if he doesn’t land with another CFL team immediately, will be on the shortlist for many teams. Especially if injuries occur as the season progresses.
Questionable Release Of DB Treston Decoud
One of the better young CFL rookie defensive backs last season, Treston Decoud is no longer an Argonaut. Toronto’s depth in the secondary from 2021, coupled with the team’s high profile offseason additions at the position, made Decoud expendable. But the thought was that he could possibly be involved in some sort of trade.
Obviously, that wasn’t the case here. The team either didn’t find suitors or was willing to move on early. There will be another wave of cuts before the season starts. After this coming Friday’s preseason finale versus Hamilton.
Toronto doesn’t play their first regular-season game until week 2. So those facts make the timing of Decoud’s release all the more surprising, considering the timing.
A former fifth round pick by the Houston Texans in 2017. The 6’2 205lb, 28-year-old, Oregon State standout Decoud, shouldn’t be out of work in the CFL for long. Provided that he stays north of the border. Decoud played in 13 games last year and was rarely tested in coverage. The stat line doesn’t look gaudy from 2021. 25 overall tackles, no turnovers forced. But those numbers don’t tell the story of the quality of his play from a year ago.
Eight Other Argos Departures
The Argos released two Global players on Sunday. Kicker Toshiki Sato, and FB Asnnell Robo. The stellar debut of Global punter John Haggerty on Friday night made second-year CFL kicker Toshiki Sato expendable. Haggerty is in line to be the team’s full term punter when the season starts.
Boris Bede, who was a three-headed monster in 2021, on kickoffs, field goals and punts, will cede his punting duties to Haggerty. A year ago, Bede was a lifesaver in close games and when it came to roster management on game days. Bede saved the team a roster spot but the Argos didn’t have a natural holder on place kicks. The global rookie will take that role away from starting QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson.
Toshiki Sato, the Japanese standout could return to his home country or be on standby if needed during this coming season.
The writing was on the wall for Asnnell Robo. Toronto was carrying five fullbacks prior to his release. And the versatlity of national players like Dion Pellerin, and Sam Baker made him expendable.
The Argos are rolling with National players and former college teammates Trevor Hoyte and Jack Cassar as the team’s primary backups at linebacker. There wasn’t room for Americans Brady Sheldon and Jay Ajayi.
Toronto also parted ways with other roster long shots in OL Jake Foshee, DL Kendall Futrell, and WR Dres Anderson. The latter was a late arrival to camp. But the numbers game was against him to begin with. With the Argos carrying nearly 20 receivers.
Chandler Worthy also ran into the numbers crunch. One of the longest tenured Argos, despite being one of the CFL’s fastest players has never been able to breakout in a consistent role. Often utilized as a decoy deep threat and part time returner with Double Blue. Worthy, like most fringe players have been down this road of uncertainty before. There’s excitement in the air for the regular season. But the trade off as it inches closer, is that many football players end up in career limbo at this time of the year.