Vanderjagt returning to Argos

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

The Argos are about to rekindle a relationship with an old flame.

A trade that would send kicker/punter Noel Prefontaine to the Edmonton Eskimos, reportedly for a 2009 first-round pick, was "95% done" last night, an Argos source said. The deal opens the door for the return of Mike Vanderjagt to the Argos, provided he passes a physical.

It was reported last night that Vanderjagt already had re-signed with the CFL club, but there was no official announcement from the team.

Vanderjagt, a 38-year-old native of Oakville, played a significant role with the Argos for Grey Cup wins in 1996 and 1997, making good on all nine of his field-goal attempts. He left the Argos following the '97 Cup victory to sign with the Indianapolis Colts, staying with the NFL team until 2006, when he signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Vanderjagt did not play last season after spending one year with the Cowboys.

Prefontaine, 34, has been with the Argos since 1998 and had a topsy-turvy 2007 season. He suffered concussion problems and hit on 66.7% (26 of 39) field-goal attempts, his lowest success rate in his career. There were rumours late in the season that the Argos were interested in bringing Vanderjagt in, but instead, Steve Christie was in uniform for one game.

Once Prefontaine passes a physical with the Eskimos, the trade will become official.

Vanderjagt's NFL career was equal parts success and controversy. He hit on 217 of 248 field-goal attempts in his eight seasons with the Colts, but often met failure in the clutch.

After the 2002 season, he made disparaging remarks about quarterback Peyton Manning and coach Tony Dungy during an interview with The Score, and not long after, Manning referred to Vanderjagt as the Colts' "idiot kicker."

In 2003, Vanderjagt became the first kicker in NFL history to make every field goal and point after he attempted, including the playoffs.

If nothing else, the Argos are leading the league in off-season moves that involve NFL refugees.

Vanderjagt would join receiver David Boston, who is trying to piece his football life back together after a host of off-field troubles, and receiver/kick returner Bethel Johnson.

The Argos also have punter/kicker Robert Eeuwes in camp, which starts in earnest tomorrow after a three-day mini-camp with quarterbacks and rookies concludes today.


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