The Argos are reportedly expected to announce the hiring of current CFL on TSN analyst Jim Barker to their front office as a senior advisor. Barker, a four-time Grey Cup champion having won twice as an assistant coach and twice as a football administrator, returns to the Six after spending several years with the Boatmen in various roles since the late nineties. First starting as an assistant, then twice as Toronto’s head coach before serving as general manager from 2011-2017.
Why Bring Back Barker To The Argos Now?
There’s no denying Jim Barker’s experience level and expertise in the Canadian game, and Barker’s vast knowledge has made him one of the best CFL analysts out there. But for some of the Argonauts faithful, Barker’s time in Toronto is not always looked upon that fondly.
Barker was 24-30 in three seasons as a head coach with the Double Blue. As GM, Barker did win a Grey Cup in 2012, and trading for the legendary Ricky Ray was certainly his crowning achievement. Still, in six seasons as general manager of the Argonauts, the team compiled a 49–59 record in that period.
However, detractors of this move must note that Jim Barker is not returning to the Argos in the same position that he held when he last entered the building. Barker is being brought on board with the Boatmen to help GM Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons replace the now-departed Executive VP of Personnel John Murphy.
Although, Toronto hasn’t made the hiring official as of press time. It’s expected that Barker will assume a senior advisory role. With Clemons, Vince Magri, the club’s scouting director, and Alex Russell, the football operations manager, taking the lead in the Argos’ front office.
In a fantastic article recently done by Don Landry at CFL.ca, Michael Clemons told Landry that Toronto would be adding some experience to their football operations department. That’s exactly what Jim Barker brings to the table.
The Argos front office is hard at work preparing for free agency, which begins on February 8th. The team has been busy re-signing some of their best players from the 2021 season. Recently bringing back All-Star specialist Boris Bede and standout WR DaVaris Daniels. There are reports that the team may be close to bringing back LB Henoc Muamba as well.
The Argos have already set their course for 2022, and Jim Barker is coming along for the journey again.