Argos (Potential) Free Agent List

Hiya Argos Empire!

The offseason is upon us, and every CFL general manager is dealing with a tonne of off field issues.  The Ottawa RedBlacks expansion draft is on the horizon, and free agency is not far behind.  The big challenge for general managers is the CFLPA collective bargaining agreement is up for renewal, but free agency starts in February and the CBA is not expected to be signed ’til closer to June, meaning GMs have to resign players while speculating what the salary cap will rise to.

The CFL has released a list of the league’s potential free agents, with the Argos list included.  Let’s take a look at the Argos’ list, talk about what the team loses if they don’t resign the player, and who (I think) the team should pursue as a replacement, should the need arise.

Ready?  Let’s do this.

We’ll tackle this list in alphabetical order.  With all due respect to Adriano Belli, Ahmad Carroll, and Jordan Younger, since they’ve all retired prior to the start of the 2013 season we won’t be looking at potential replacements (some would argue the Argos are still looking for replacements for these fellas, but I digress).

Mike Bradwell, SB (Non-Import)
The 2013 season is one Mr. Bradwell would like to forget, even after one handsome prognosticator predicted him to have a big impact this season.  He had a career-worst 7 catches for 94 yards in an injury-plagued season.
What the team would be losing:
A career Argo and local boy, Bradwell contributes more than just to the Canadian ratio when healthy.  He’s reliable in the passing game, solid in punt coverage, and a clutch member of the, “hands team” on kick return.  In addition, the team would be losing the league’s best hair (just ask Fernando) and possibly the support of his girlfriend, Ottawa native (and this End Zoner’s crush) Aliya-Jasmine Sovani.

Sploosh for the girls; Schwing for the guys

Sploosh for the girls; Schwing for the guys

Who could replace him:
As far as AJ is concerned, my vote is yours truly (call me!) but on the field the Argos should turn to Anthony Parker.  The Stampeders non-import WR is three years younger than Bradwell, doesn’t throw off the Canadian ratio, and can contribute on offense & special teams.  Bradwell’s hair and girlfriend, frankly, are irreplaceable.

Zach Collaros, QB (Import)

Bearcat clearing a Bighill

His last season with the Argos?

To say Collaros is in demand would be an understatement.  Since taking over for an injured Ricky Ray and leading the Argos on a four game road winning streak (which led to being named CFL offensive player of the month for September), everyone has been pointing at Collaros as being the starter for the RedBlacks in 2014.  There were reports that the Argos may trade the talented QB to Winnipeg prior to the expansion draft, but reports since claim the deal is dead.  He has expressed interest in trying out for NFL teams, which would make signing him prior to the expansion draft difficult.
What the team would be losing:
Collaros has all the tools to be the next big thing in the CFL; a strong arm, the legs to extend plays, and the guts to make the tough throws.  I can’t see a scenario where he’d be content backing up Ricky Ray again this year.  It’s a safe bet Zach has played his last game in an Argos uniform.  The only question remaining is what team (and in what country) will he play for next year?
Who could replace him:
The Argos already have a #2 QB ready in Trevor Harris.  Harris & Collaros battled for the backup position in training camp, and you could’ve flipped a coin as to who won the battle.  As far as the roster spot, I’d like to see a CIS QB in the #3 spot.  How great would it be for the quarterback minds of Scott Milanovich, Jason Maas, Marcus Brady, AND Ricky Ray to mentor the next great Canadian quarterback?

Dontrelle Inman, WR (Import)
The Charleston, South Carolina product is electrifying!  He can stretch the field, make the tough catches over the middle, and tiptoe down the sideline.  He was a difference-maker on offense for the Argos.  Inman has expressed interest in pursuing his NFL dream this offseason.
What the team would be losing:
Arguably one of the league’s most exciting receivers.  Inman goes deep, goes short, and goes up for the ball at its highest point.  And don’t forget the slam cam.
Who could replace him:
Maurice Price had a breakout season for the Stampeders in 2013.  His bionic speed could stretch defenses like Inman, but doesn’t have the clutch hands.  Price edges out Taj Smith on my depth chart because of Price being two years younger and Smith’s off field issues.

Jeff Johnson, RB (Non-Import)
Johnson has been a part of the Argos since 2002.  As many Canadian players, he’s been asked to fill multiple roles for the team; RB, FB, TE, special teams coverage and returns.  There are rumors he may retire this offseason.
What the team would be losing:
A consummate professional, a team player, and the closest living resemblance to Marvel Comics cliched Canadian superhero, Puck.
Who could replace him:
Personally, I’d like to see Peterborough’s own Carl Fitzgerald in this role, but since he’s still under contract with Winnipeg, I’ll go with Tim St. Pierre outta Calgary.  The man’s a truck disguised as a man who’ll keep the Argos Canadian content intact while contributing on special teams.

Andrew Jones, OL (Non-Import)
The McMaster grad is a local boy that can play several positions on the offensive line.
What the team would be losing:
The player most often mistaken in press releases with Major League Baseball player, Andruw Jones.
Who could replace him:
I’m all for a return of Marc Parenteau personally, but if the Argos choose to go younger, how ’bout Dimitri Tsoumpas?  There’s not a lot of stats to track for an O-lineman, but he’s Canadian, got a cool name, AND he’s got his own website!

David Lee, DL (Non-Import)
The Western Mustang product just wrapped his second season as a pro which saw much more time as a defensive starter.
What the team would be losing:
A potential every down pass rush threat.  He’s young, strong, and physically gifted.  I’m not calling him the second coming of Ricky Foley…Yet, but he’s only gonna get better.  Did I mention he’s Canadian?  That’s important around here.
Who could replace him:
There’s not a lot of free agent Canadian defensive linemen out there, so I’m gonna go with Ryan Lucas…Because He’s Canadian…And I have to come up with a replacement.  Basically, I’m saying the Argos have gotta resign Lee.

Robert McCune, LB (Import)
McCuneThe Hammer led the Argos in tackles this year, and every hit hurt.  An absolute beast that knows Chris Jones’ defense inside & out, he also took on a leadership role in the dressing room this season (or so I’ve been told).  With Jones taking the reins in Edmonton, there’s rumours McCune may follow Jones to his third team.
What the team would be losing:
A punishing middle linebacker that opposing offenses have to game plan around.
Who could replace him:
In a word, “Nobody.” But since I’ve gotta pick someone I’m gonna go with Shea Emry.  He’s Canadian, he’s nasty, and he’s younger than McCune.

Chad Rempel, WR (Non-Import)
  A fan favourite, Rempel is listed as a wide receiver on the CFL site, a slotback on the Argos site, but everyone knows him as the league’s most popular long snapper.
What the team would be losing:
A consistent long snapper and a veteran presence in the locker room.
Who could replace him:
Tough to find long snap stats, so let’s go with Kevin Scott.  He’s younger and still Canadian.

Zander Robinson, DE (Non-Import)
Although the CFL site has him listed as a defensive end, the Argos call him a fullback but also played him in the tight end position.  He recorded his first two pro TDs this season, including a memorable 45 yard rumble at home.
What the team would be losing:
A versatile Canadian player who does all that’s asked of him.
Who could replace him:
Again, this sounds like a job for Peterborough’s Carl Fitzgerald, but among free agents I’ll go with…Ummm…Martin Bedard, I suppose.  Look, just trade for Fitz, Argos!

Wayne Smith, OL (Non-Import)
Smith is a veteran of the CFL, with 10 years of experience.  Unfortunately, he’s “on the wrong side of 30” and is on the downside of his career.
What the team would be losing:
An experienced offensive lineman you can count on in any situation.
Who could replace him:
Let’s stick with the Parenteau or Tsoumpas suggestions from earlier.

Swayze Waters, K (Import)
WatersThe Mississippi Moon Shooter (trademarked!) had some injury issues that led to inconsistency in ’13.  He came back with a vengeance late in the year, with an 80 yard punt added to his resume and much more consistency in the field goal department.
What the team would be losing:
One big boot and a quality locker room guy.
Who could replace him:
I’d go after Canadian Chris Milo.  He’ll help the Canadian ratio, is accurate on his field goals, deep on punts, and is coming off a Grey Cup win with the Roughriders.

Patrick Watkins, DB (Import)

Shut 'er down

The Argos lock down man

Watkins missed training camp for personal reasons and had a slow start to the season, but turned things around in a big way during the four game road trip, with five turnovers (four INT’s, one fumble).  That set the tone for the rest of his season as the rest of the league’s offenses stopped throwing his way.
What the team would be losing:
Arguably the league’s top corner.  When Watkins is on his game there’s none better.  There are times when he gets a little anxious trying to jump routes, leading to some big gains against the Argos.  Frankly, the risk/reward with Watkins is more reward from where I’m sitting.
Who could replace him:
Nobody.  But, I would be totally okay with the return of Byron Parker outta Montreal.  The CFL record-holder in interception TD’s would be a great addition to the Double Blue.
…Wait, Byron Parker’s not a free agent?  It’s Billy Parker?
Dammit.

Andrew Woodson, RB (Non-Import)
Okay, the CFL free agent article says Andrew, the Argos say Anthony.  Anyway, the youngster has only seven carries and one reception in his two year career.
What the team would be losing:
Tough to say.  He hasn’t had much opportunity to prove himself yet.
Who could replace him:
Personally, I’m a Chad Simpson fan, but for the sake of the Canadian ratio, let’s aim for Rob Cote outta Calgary.  He contributes in in every area of the game.

I’ve heard rumours that Marcus Ball is a free agent as well, but he wasn’t on the CFL free agent list, so he wasn’t on mine.  If he happens to be a free agent, PLEASE COME BACK!!!  Ball was the straw that stirred the drink on defense for the Argos last season!  Cripes, if he’s gone too I can’t imagine what kind of defense will be on the field for the Boatmen next year.

Frankly, I’m curious when the CFL will release the cheerleader free agency list.  I’m still not over the Argos losing Karla last off season.

Right up there with the 100th Grey Cup win

Right up there with the 100th Grey Cup win

At least that’s how it looks from where I’m standing (since I don’t sit at the games).  Whaddya think, Argos Empire?  Tell us who you think the Argos should keep & who they should pursue in the off season in the comments below.

Jube.

Photo courtesy of the Toronto Argonauts, ArgosEndZone & zimbio.com     

One thought on “Argos (Potential) Free Agent List

  1. Pingback: My RedBlacks Expansion Draft Argos Protection List | Argos End Zone

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