Argos sign two QBs

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

The Argos signed two quarterbacks yesterday and neither is named Damon Allen.

But the addition of formers NFLer Mike McMahon and, to a lesser extent, Tom Arth, ensures the battle for the starter's job will be a hot one.

"That was a definite factor in my decision," McMahon said yesterday in a phone interview. "They told me the job is wide open for competition, something I loved to hear."

McMahon has started 14 games in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles but has spent most of his career as a backup.

He was encouraged after a recent workout for Argos coaches and after consulting with his former college coach at Rutgers University, Terry Shea, decided to take a shot in the CFL.

"(Shea) has coached up there and thought it would be a great opportunity for me to come up and play," McMahon said. "If I sat around and waited for an NFL team, there would be no guarantees. I wanted to play football again."

While not as accomplished as McMahon, Arth was on the Indianapolis Colts practice roster where he was an understudy of this year's Super Bowl MVP, Peyton Manning.

McMahon is expected to be a serious contender for the starting job, with or without Allen in camp.

Negotiations with the 43-year-old Allen, who became a free agent on Feb. 15, are ongoing. One possible stumbling block is Allen's reluctance to settle for a contract that will pay starter's money only if he earns the job.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, who was injured much of last year, is expected to put up a fight. And the team is confident Michael Bishop, who relieved Allen in two playoff games this past season, also will be in camp.


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