Over and out for Allen

It is expected Damon Allen will announce his retirement today. (Sun Media File)

It is expected Damon Allen will announce his retirement today. (Sun Media File)

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:35 AM ET

It always was the impression that Damon Allen would only go into retirement kicking and screaming.

But rather than the humiliation of ending his career fighting for the third-string quarterback spot with the Argos, pro football's leading passer is ready to pack it in.

The 44-year-old California native today is expected to confirm what for most of the off-season seemed inevitable -- that he will not return for his 24th season in the CFL.

The writing was on the wall for Allen when the team acquired the CFL's reigning most outstanding player, Kerry Joseph, in an off-season trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. With last year's starter, Michael Bishop, also returning to the Boatmen, all that was left for Allen was to compete for No. 3 on the depth chart.

Argos coach Rich Stubler and general manager Adam Rita also have made it clear that two other quarterbacks on the training camp roster -- Reggie McNeal and Cody Pickett -- have potential to be future starters.

None among the Argos brass said publicly that they wanted Allen to retire, but it is clear that it will make life simpler when rookies and quarterbacks report to training camp tomorrow.

As recently as this past week, Allen had maintained he intended to come to camp, but with the prospects grim to see the field, apparently he has changed his opinion. It is unclear whether Allen will be offered (or accept) a position within the organization.

A brother of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, Damon Allen retires as pro football's career passing leader with 72,381 yards. Three times he was named the MVP of the Grey Cup and in 2005, he was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player for a season in which he topped 5,000 passing yards.

Allen lost his starting job to Bishop early in 2007, but also spent much of the season injured. Allen arrived in the league in 1985 with the Edmonton Eskimos and during his career also played for teams in Ottawa, Hamilton, B.C. and Memphis.

THE NUMBERS

Damon Allen's career stats

Passing Running

Atts. 9,138 1,766

Comp. 5,158 --

Yards 72,381 11,920

TDs 394 93


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