Bitter Bishop ready to jump ship

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

The saga over Michael Bishop is about to end.

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons talked yesterday with Bishop, who has a contract offer as the starting quarterback for the Arena League's Grand Rapids Rampage. He doesn't want to come back to fulfill the option year of his contract with the Argos to back up Damon Allen.

If the team dispenses with Bishop, by releasing him rather than suspend him, a replacement will be signed in time for the start of training camp tomorrow. There's various prospects available, including Edmonton Eskimos castoff Bart Hendricks, or possibly re-signing Romaro Miller, whom the team already has released.

One rumour had the team considering Scott Frost, who starred for the University of Nebraska in 1997 before embarking on a career in the NFL as a safety. He was followed at Nebraska by Eric Crouch, whom the Argos have courted for two years, but Frost still has quarterback aspirations and is considered an excellent athlete.

NFL castoff Scott Covington, meanwhile, is eager to grasp the opportunity given to him by the Argos and has no problems being Allen's backup. Covington has been a backup for most of his college career at the University of Miami, followed by an on-again, off-again NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals, which drafted him in 1999, and the St. Louis Rams, with whom he started a game in 2002.

Covington hasn't been with a team for the past two NFL seasons and wasn't invited to try out with a team last year after St. Louis released him in June.

"You can never discount what people have done here in the past, but it's one of those things where I am here for a reason and to accomplish certain things and certain goals, regardless of who else is on the roster," he said.

At age 29, Covington knows he is somewhat at the crossroads of his career, but added: "By no means am I ready to sit behind a desk or disappear from football. I'm as healthy as I can be. I keep myself in phenomenal shape. Age is irrelevant."

YOUNGER ADDS ONE

Cornerback Jordan Younger, who cracked the starting roster as a rookie last year, has added a year to his existing contract, which was scheduled to expire after this season.


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