Here in name only? Hardly

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

A chance encounter with an old friend in a Texas grocery store by the son of an NFL legend eventually could provide a boost to the Argos' defensive backfield.

Toronto yesterday signed defensive back Anthony Dorsett Jr., who has been out of football for three years but played eight seasons in the NFL, four each with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans. Based near Dallas, the 33-year-old Dorsett has been involved in a development-funding company and dabbled in television since being released by the Raiders in February 2004.

"He is a rookie in our league, but he is hardly a rookie," Argos general manager Adam Rita said yesterday as the club's mini-camp wrapped up at Erindale. "I would say he has a really good shot (at cracking the Argos roster). Maybe not as a starter, but in our system, there are a lot of different places he could play, because of his size and his aggressiveness."

The Argos will have their medicals today and training camp begins in earnest tomorrow. The team's first pre-season game is June 9 at the Rogers Centre against the Montreal Alouettes.

HAPPY TO OBLIGE

Dorsett bumped into a buddy -- player agent Scott Casterline -- and the latter offered to make a couple of calls on his behalf. The Argos were happy to oblige Dorsett's wish to resume his career.

"I never really wanted to get out of it," said the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Dorsett, who had 312 tackles in 118 NFL games, mostly as a free safety. "Initially, there was a money dispute, then I changed representation. I got on the phone myself a few times and I got calls last season up until Week 11 (in the NFL), but nothing was concrete."

As the son of Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett, the younger Dorsett came by his talents naturally. Ability and hard work kept him employed.

"I was born the same day of my dad's first college game, so I rode the whole thing," Dorsett said. "The name has been something that has been with me and it always will be. But the biggest thing about it is you can't get paid off your father's name."

Dorsett certainly is not trying out for a spot in the CFL for the money. The game of football is in his blood.

"I played in two Super Bowls and I lost them both," he said. "Hopefully, I have a chance to play in the Grey Cup and win it. This is just a great opportunity, man. I am here on my own accord, but I'm here to help any way I can."


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