As the CFL pushes towards a return to the field for the first time in two years. The Toronto Argonauts have decided to bring back one of their best players in 2019 by resigning veteran quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson. And by doing so, Toronto is hedging its bets at the QB position and creating a competition with MBT back in the mix to potentially reclaim his starting role as the Argos signal-caller.
McLeod Bethel Thompson is back in Double Blue after a 2019 season that saw him lead the CFL in touchdown passes with 26 in just 13 starts while completing 67.9% percent of his passes while racking up 4,024 passing yards. The 6’4, 220lb California native had nine games in 2019 with at least 300 yards passing and two with over 400 yards. Bethel-Thompson has a great history in the Argos, joining Toronto in 2017 and helped the organization win its 17th Grey Cup that season as a backup to Ricky Ray.
The well-traveled, Bethel-Thompson most recently played with The Spring League’s Aviators in the fall of 2020. Bethel-Thompson also recently worked out in front of NFL scouts at the HUB Football camp earlier this month. Throughout his carer, MBT has made nine NFL stops with five different teams; San Francisco 49ers (three times), Miami Dolphins (twice), Minnesota Vikings (twice), New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles. In the last ten years, Thompson has also played with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League, the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League, and was on the practice roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before his move to the Argos.
“I am very excited at the prospect of the CFL being back this year and I cannot wait to continue to pursue my passion in one of the greatest cities in the world,” said Bethel-Thompson. “I look forward to playing my role as quarterback by making each and every teammate around me better.”
“McLeod brings veteran and locker-room leadership to our ball club, as well as the ability to play quarterback at a high level,” said Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “ He makes us a better football team and I am excited for him to rejoin the team this year.”
One of the most significant question marks for the Toronto Argonauts going into the upcoming 2021 season is the unknown surrounding it’s projected starting quarterback Nick Arbuckle. Ryan Dinwiddie, the newly minted Head Coach in waiting for Toronto, has handpicked one of his former pupils to help lead the Double Blue’s offense. Still, Arbuckle’s limited resume and starting experience created some doubt for the coming season. The return of Bethel-Thompson is a smart insurance play by the Argonauts.
The Toronto Argonauts have had a complete roster overhaul since winning only four games in 2019, and there will be several heated battles for roster spots and playing time. Still, none will have more significance than that of the Quarterback position. Nick Arbuckle is projected to start the season under center, but Bethel-Thompson could be back leading the charge at a moment’s notice. The boat is back, but so is one of its significant captains.
“Mac is a good quarterback; I’ve always been a fan from afar,” Ryan Dinwiddie told Argonauts.ca. “We love Nick, and we know we can win games with him, but every starting quarterback is just one hit away, and we just felt we didn’t have two starting-caliber quarterbacks in the building to push each other. We also have a security blanket; coaches and the locker room know if one guy goes down, we can still win football games.