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Toronto Argonauts Trade Quarterback Nick Arbuckle To The Edmonton Elks

After weeks of speculation, a day before the CFL trade deadline, sources have confirmed that the Toronto Argonauts have traded quarterback Nick Arbuckle to the Edmonton Elks for a conditional 2022 2nd round draft pick and the rights to former Ole Miss and NFL QB Chad Kelly, who was on the Elks negotiation list.

TSN’s Dave Naylor first reported the deal. As of press time. The team or league hadn’t confirmed or announced the trade. But they eventually did. —more updates to follow.

It’s quite the turn of events for Nick Arbuckle and Toronto in the last few weeks. The 28-year old Arbuckle was seen by many observers of the Argos as the team’s long-term starter on the pivot. But his struggles with injuries and on the field eventually cost Nick Arbuckle playing time and his starting job with the Boatmen.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson has taken over as Toronto’s starter in the team’s last four games with Antonio Pipkin as his primary backup.

For the 2021 season, Nick Arbuckle played in five games, completing 62 percent of his passes, for 1,158 yards with 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Arbuckle was 2-2 as the team’s starter.

Nick Arbuckle Trade Initial Thoughts

Despite the possibility being out there for weeks. This is still a surprising move by the Argonauts, especially considering the team’s playoff positioning.

Toronto’s trade of Nick Arbuckle to Edmonton creates a scenario where he could return to BMO Field in Week 16 as the Elks QB. Arbuckle would be in an immediate position to hurt his now-former team’s playoff chances.

It’s quite interesting that the rescheduled Elks-Argos game, because of COVID issues, could come back to hurt Toronto in the final week of their regular season.

We often fall prone to being prisoners of the moment, and there is a tendency to overreact without proper introspection or analysis. But in my opinion, this is an awful move by the Boatmen’s brass. Simply because of the timing and the compensation involved.

QB Chad Kelly is an intriguing prospect for the future. But this type of trade is something that should have occurred after the season.

The Argos did not help themselves in the 2021 season by trading Nick Arbuckle away. Toronto didn’t address two clear needs that the team has in acquiring a RT with Jamal Cambell out or a DT to help replace the injured Drake Nevis and shore up the team’s awful run defence.

Ultimately, Nick Arbuckle’s trade today confirms what has been known for weeks. The 2021 Argos are McLeod Bethel-Thompson’s team. He’s the captain of the offence, and the Boatmen will sail or sink with him at the controls.

Things turned quickly for Nick Arbuckle. His first start with the Boatmen was against the Blue Bombers at BMO Field. The Argos handed Winnipeg their lone loss of the season 30-23 on that day. And Nick Arbuckle received CFL player of the week honors for his performance.

Arbuckle completed 23-of-32 passes for 310 yards and one passing touchdown while rushing for another major. 

Two months later, he is no longer a part of the team.

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author avatar
Mike Mitchell Reporter
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Luigi Bruno

    October 26, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    I like your analysis re the trade being better done at the end of the season because of the potential harm that a vengeful Arbuckle could do to Argos playoff chances. And i agree that the better trade today would be for a solid RT. Maybe they have another deal in the works before the trade DL.

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