Eric Crouch is not officially an Argo, but it is only a matter of days.
While the club hoped to announce the signing of the 27-year-old quarterback yesterday, that failed to materialize. But Crouch said yesterday he expects the situation to be rectified soon.
"There's excitement on their side. I know I'm excited," he said before boarding a flight back home to Omaha, Neb. "I really expect to get it done. I know it will happen. There's no question this will be my new (football) home.
"This is minor to me," he added of the contract impasse. "The deal is done as far as I'm concerned. It's really small technicalities as far as the length of the contract. It's going to be worked out (on the weekend) and I'll be back up Monday or Tuesday (for a formal announcement).
It's believed the holdup in the contract is that the Argos want to lock up Crouch for three years, along with the obligatory option year. With veteran Damon Allen intent on playing through to the end of 2007, the Argos are just seeking some added long-term security with Crouch.
"I'm talking to his agent (today)," Argos president Keith Pelley said. "We're working this out and hope to have him signed early next week."
Crouch, who won the 2001 Heisman Trophy at the University of Nebraska, impressed in a workout on Wednesday with the Argos, who have had his rights, on and off, since 2000.
Crouch said that after he signs the deal, he expects to make two or three return trips to Toronto before training camp in late May to further acquaint himself with offensive coordinator Kent Austin. Austin underwent hip surgery earlier this week and did not attend the workout, which the team filmed for his perusal.
The Argos still are shopping for another quarterback because Michael Bishop, who has backed up Allen the past three years, won't be in their plans. He signed a two-year contract last year with Chicago of the Arena League.
Though he is technically still under contract to Toronto, Bishop doesn't want to be a backup again and that's why the Argos will either release him or trade his rights.
TABBIES RE-SIGN TWO
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats re-signed non-import offensive linemen Wayne Smith and Marwan Hage to one-year contracts. Smith, a 6-foot-3, 305-pound Toronto native, was Hamilton's nominee as the league's top rookie in 2004.
ESKS ADD EX-LAVAL COACH
The Edmonton Eskimos have hired Carl Brennan as running backs coach. Brennan was the Saskatchewan Roughriders' offensive line coach in 2005 and coached the Laval Rouge et Or to Vanier Cup titles in '99 and '03.