The Toronto Argonauts haven’t taken the field for nearly two years, but with CFL play ready to resume in August and training camps set to begin on July 10th. The Argos dramatic roster transformation, particularly on defence, continues with the team announcing the signing of former CFL All-Star LB/S Dexter McCoil.
The American-born defender, McCoil, might be arriving late to the party, which would generally be a deterrent in the hopes of making a Canadian roster due to ratio rules but based on his resume. McCoil’s odds of making the double blue’s roster are not only favorable, but he could factor significantly into the Argonauts’ defense this season. McCoil will be joining a defence that has added several notable names. Most notably, two of Canada’s Most Outstanding players in Linebackers Henoc Muamba and Cameron Judge.
Dexter McCoil has had a unique pro football journey. Despite being a second-team All-Conference USA player, the 6’4 220 safety/linebacker, who went undrafted out of Tulsa, started his pro career in the Arena Football League with the Los Angeles Kiss. McCoil very quickly made an impact and moved on to the CFL, signing with Edmonton. In 2014, McCoil won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie Award. McCoil’s unique build and hybrid style fit in perfectly in the Canadian game.
Dexter McCoil was a key cog in Edmonton’s defence, achieving All-Star status and helping EE win a Grey Cup in 2015. McCoil had some contract issues in the CFL, and his high level of play earned him an opportunity in the NFL as he made his exit and joined the San Diego Chargers in 2016. McCoil would spend the better part of his next three years as a swing starting safety/linebacker in the NFL with the Chargers and 49ers before making his way back to the CFL in 2019 with the Calgary Stampeders.
In October of 2019, days before signing with Calgary, the St. Louis BattleHawks drafted McCoil in the fourth round of the defensive backs phase of the 2020 XFL Draft. McCoil Sr., 29, played five games for the St. Louis BattleHawks of the XFL in 2020, finishing tied for third in league with 36 tackles. St. Louis’s defensive coordinator Jay Hayes used McCoil much the same way he has been his entire career as an in-the-box hybrid-type player. McCoil teamed up with two of the XFL’s better safeties in Carolina Panthers 2020 draft pick Kenny Robinson and NFL veteran Will Hill.
The Toronto Argonauts have several former XFL players on their roster. They recently added former New York Guardians DB Andrew Soroh, a very similar player to Dexter McCoil. The Boatmen have stocked up on several notable CFL free agents and American-born players since the 2019 season. Dexter McCoil is back in the league that always best suited his skill-set, and he could make a significant impact when the Argonauts season starts on August 7th.