The Free-Agency frenzy in the CFL has already begun days before the period’s official kickoff on February 8th. Like the rest of the league’s teams, the Argos have been working frantically to bring back their best players.
Argos Make Two Major Moves Before FA Starts
The Argos made two more major moves as the team heads towards free agency on Friday. Toronto orchestrated a sign and trade with Calgary, inking pending free-agent LB Cameron Judge to a new deal and then trading him straight up for young standout DB Royce Metchie.
The Boatmen also announced that they have re-signed CFL All-Star SAM/DB Chris Edwards.
Both moves carry quite a bit of intrigue to them.
Regarding Chris Edwards, a player who the team did not have on their list of pending free agents. The fact that he was re-signed is a bit of a shocker because very few knew that he would be on the market.
Edwards, 29, is coming off a fantastic season, where he was voted as the league’s top strong side linebacker. In 14 games in 2021, Edwards posted 37 tackles, three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns, and three sacks. The hybrid linebacker/defensive back was a menacing presence last season. The Argos bringing him back is a no-brainer. Even with Edwards, set to miss Toronto’s first six games to suspension due to an unfortunate incident with unruly fans after the East Final last December.
Stampeders In The Six
The moment that the Argos hired former Stamps OC Ryan Dinwiddie as their head coach in 2020. It was a given that Double Blue’s new leader would be bringing along with him players on offence that he coached in Calgary. Eric Rogers, DaVaris Daniels, Nick Arbuckle, and Juwan Brescasin all made their way to the Six to join Dinwiddie.
The same effect could be transpiring this coming season for Toronto on the defensive side of the ball. After patrolling the sidelines with Dinwiddie in Calgary, Corey Mace has jumped on board to coordinate the Boatmen’s defense. And along with him could be several of his former Stampeder players.
The first sign of that possibility is Toronto’s trade of LB Cameron Judge for Calgary Stampeders DB Royce Metchie. The 25-year-old Brampton Ontario native, Metchie, spent the past three seasons with the Stamps. The Guelph product appeared in seven games last season, recording 31 defensive tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
The older brother of Alabama standout WR John Metchie, Royce, is coming off his best season in Canada, patrolling the back end of the Stamps secondary in 2021. He is considered one of the CFL’s best young safeties by many. And there’s no doubt that Argos DC Corey Mace is fully aware of the value Metchie can bring to his secondary in Toronto.
Toronto has one of the deepest young secondaries in the CFL. But the addition of a talented young Metchie helps bring the team more ratio flexibility on the back end of their defence. It’s worth noting that former Stamps coach and player Joshua Bell is back coaching DB’s with the Argos and he also has familiarity with Metchie, just like Corey Mace.
Cameron Judge, perhaps because of injury, or scheme fit, didn’t quite live up to his billing in 2021 for the Argos. The Canadian Will linebacker wasn’t the same player he was in Saskatchewan, and super sub-Dexter McCoil outplayed him. The change of scenery to Calgary should benefit Judge, and the Stamps have a strong need with league-leading tackler Darrell Sankey on his way out the door.
On the other hand, Toronto is prepared to enter free agency, looking for a new running mate at linebacker alongside the returning Henoc Muamba. The Argos have two very promising national linebackers in recent draft picks, Trevor Hoyte and Jack Cassar. And even though Toronto will be undergoing a scheme change that emphasizes having more defensive backs on the field, it’s reasonable to assume that the team could be in the market for some veteran insurance at the position. Off the heels of the recent retirement of Dexter McCoil and now the trade of Cameron Judge.
The rumors are running rampant over who the Argos could be saying goodbye to from last year’s team. And also, who could be coming on board to join the Boatmen for next season. Another former Calgary standout, like DL Ja’Gared Davis, could be reuniting with coach Corey Mace. While it appears that long time Argos WR Llevi Noel will be headed to Ottawa.
It should be an interesting free agency period with more significant moves to follow in the coming days for an update on what Toronto has done up until this point of the season. Check out the tracker below.
Argos Updated Offseason Tracker 2/5/2022
Argos 2022 FREE AGENTS
|BEDE, Boris||A||K||Laval||Extended 1/17/22|
|BETHEL-THOMPSON, Mcleod||A||QB||Sacramento State||Extended 1/31/22|
|BLADEK, Dariusz||N||OL||Bethune-Cookman||Extended 12/23/21|
|BOATENG, Matthew||N||DB||Fresno State||Extended 1/24/22|
|BRESCACIN, Juwan||N||WR||Northern Illinois|
|CHEVRIER, Alexandre||N||LB||Sherbrooke||Extended 12/23/21|
|COLLINS JR., Ricky||A||WR||Texas A&M Commerce|
|DANIEL, Robertson||A||DB||Brigham Young||Extended 1/7/22|
|DANIELS, DaVaris||A||WR||Notre Dame||Extended 1/17/22|
|GLENN, Cameron||A||DB||Wake Forest||Re-signed 1/13/22|
|JUDGE, Cameron||N||LB||UCLA||Traded 2/4/22|
|LAW, Cordarro||A||DL||Southern Mississippi|
|MCCOIL SR., Dexter||A||LB||Tulsa||Retired|
|MUAMBA, Henoc||N||LB||St. Francis Xavier||Extended 1/25/22|
|NEVIS, Drake||A||DL||Louisiana State|
|RICHARDS, Shane||N||OL||Oklahoma State||Extended 12/28/21|
|SMITH, Robbie||N||DL||Wilfrid Laurier||Extended 12/23/21|
|TUGGLE, Justin||A||DL||Kansas State|
Any player not listed above and on the Argos active roster (HERE) is under contract for the 2022 season.
|PHILLIPS, Cam||A||WR||Virginia Tech||Re-signed 12/15/21|
|BAKER, Sam||N||WR||Saskatchewan||Re-signed 12/15/21|
|MCFADDEN, Tarvarus||A||DB||Florida State||Re-signed 12/15/21|
|CARBONE, Joe||N||FB||Windsor||Signed 12/15/21|
|JONES, Tony||A||LB||Texas Tech||Signed 12/15/21|
|HUGHES, Charleston||A||DL||Northwood||Released 12/27/21|
|PUTUTAU, Alani||A||DL||Adams State||Signed 12/31/21|
|EDWARDS, Earnest||A||WR||Maine||Signed 1/7/22|
|AJAYI, SOLOMON||A||LB||Liberty||Signed 1/11/22|
|FOOTE, Fabion||N||DL||McMaster||Re-Signed 1/12/22|
|GLENN, Cam||A||DB||Wake Forrest||Signed 1/13/22|
|SIMMONS, Austin||A||QB||South Dakota||Signed 1/13/22|
|COXIE, Damonte||A||WR||Memphis||Signed 1/24/22|
|ROBERSON, Darece||A||WR||Wayne State||Signed 1/26/22|
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