Avery close to deal

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

It appears as if the Argos and John Avery are about to come to terms on a restructured contract. Avery told the Sun yesterday that his agent has worked out a deal with the Argos to re-work the agreement signed last year that called for the running back to receive at least $250,000 a season for four years. The Argos asked Avery to reportedly take a 50% pay cut.

While Avery didn't disclose terms of the new deal, he indicated it has performance bonuses. It's believed that the base salary will still make him the highest-paid running back in the league. Last year he was the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league.

"Hopefully Monday or Tuesday everything is signed," Avery said. "I'm thinking it's more or less a done deal. This is where I'd like to be. I think the resources of Toronto will be good for me.

"I'm expecting a phenomenal year," he added. "Last year I wooed people and wowed people, but they haven't seen anything yet."

Avery suffered through an injury-plagued season last year when he was hobbled by the effects of knee surgery the previous fall while with the Minnesota Vikings. He missed almost all of training camp and didn't play in the pre-season games.

Henever showed the consistent ability he had two years before when he led the Canadian Football League with 1,448 rushing yards. He also caught 45 passes for 387 yards and had 661 yards on 26 kickoffs. Last year he totalled 974 rushing yards -- seventh-best in the league -- from 202 carries and had 1,338 combined yards. He was labeled a bust by some critics because of his salary relative to his production.

"I'm looking forward to getting everything together and going to training camp where we actually have a blueprint (for his role)," Avery said. "I don't think we had a blueprint last year. I was just thrown in."

He believes the fact he's training regularly and will be able to go into training camp healthy will make a huge difference.

"If I do the things I'm planning on doing, I don't think anyone will question me ability," he said.

ARGO NOTES

Defensive back Kenny Wheaton may be close to re-signing with the team. He is scheduled to become a free agent on Wednesday, along with defensive ends Eric England and Chuck Walsh, defensive back Clifford Ivory and linebacker Kevin Eiben. Eiben, who led the league in tackles last year, may be moving towards signing a new deal.


Videos

Photos