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The Toronto Argonauts Add Three New Defensive Backs

CFL free agency is still a month away. But that hasn’t precluded teams from adding new players to their 2023 rosters. The Toronto Argonauts have been busy signing multiple American free-agent players in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, the Argos announced they had signed defensive backs J.T. Hassell, Chris Moore, and Qwan’tez Stiggers.

Often, signings like these are overlooked and viewed as footnotes during the offseason. However, Toronto has had a lot of success in recent years in making these under-the-radar acquisitions.

The Argos have hit home runs recently with players such as Shawn Oakman, Jamal Peters, Tarvarus McFadden, Javon Leake, and Robert Priester. Toronto also, last offseason, quietly signed a significant 2022 contributor in Maurice Carnell, who, like Hassell, has limited CFL experience.

The Argonauts could also replenish their deck for possible departures in the coming weeks. Not only does Double Blue have nearly two dozen pending free agents. But the Grey Cup champs have several of their players getting looks from the big league south of the border.

In recent times, Jamal Peters, Dewayne Hendrix, and Kurleigh Gittens have had tryouts with NFL teams. Gittens Jr. most recently tried out for the New England Patriots. At the same time, American DT Dewayne Hendrix worked out for the Atlanta Falcons. Hendrix is another example of Toronto’s successful run of signing American imports.

The Boatmen are leaving no stones unturned. Or no waters uncharted.

Toronto Argonauts Sign Three American Defensive Backs

TORONTO – The Toronto Argonauts Football Club announced today the team had signed American DB J.T. Hassell, American DB Chris Moore, and American DB Qwan’tez Stiggers.

J.T. Hassell, 27, played four games for Winnipeg in 2022 after being signed by the club in September and tallied two special teams tackles. The 5’11, 200lb DB was signed by the Cleveland Browns in 2019 and played four games for the Ohio team chipping in with seven tackles before a brief stint with New England and then the New York Jets in 2020, where he played three games.

The Florida native began his collegiate career at South Dakota State. He started all 14 games for the Jackrabbits at linebacker, recording 41 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one sack, and one interception as a true freshman. Hassell played 12 games in his sophomore season, tallying 21 tackles before a transfer to Florida Tech. At Tech, Hassell would compile 203 tackles, 18.5 for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles, and one recovery in 23 games while being named conference Defensive Player of the Year and a Division II All-American.

Chris Moore, 24, most recently spent time with the Baltimore Ravens after being signed by the NFL team as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State. The 6’0, 210lb DB played 22 games over two seasons at GSU (2020-2021) and made 104 tackles, 5.5 for loss, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble. Before GSU, the Virginia native played three seasons (2016-2019) at the University of Virginia, playing in 23 games while tallying 97 tackles, four for loss, and one interception for the Cavaliers. Moore missed the 2018 season due to an injury.

Qwan’tez Stiggers, 20, played in the Fan Control Football League, where he was the league’s youngest player, but that did not stop him from leading the league in interceptions with five, including three in one game, while also adding 30 tackles. The 6’0, 197lb DB was also a finalist for the league’s defensive player of the year award.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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