Braley plans to keep Argos, Lions

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

David Braley has a message for those who have trouble wrapping their heads around the fact he owns two Canadian Football League teams: Get used to it.

Braley, whose acquisition of the Argos was approved by the CFL board of governors on Tuesday night, said on Wednesday he has no plans to sell either the B.C. Lions or the Argos.

“I’ll own both for the next two years for sure and perhaps keep both longer,” Braley said. “I’m 68 now and by the time I turn 75 I won’t own either. Off the field, there will be a five-year plan put in place to connect with the community.”

The Argos are close to signing a new lease with the Rogers Centre and Braley has no designs to look for a smaller, more intimate stadium. David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski investigated various options, including the University of Toronto, York University and BMO Field, but came up empty, and their inability to get the Argos out of the Rogers Centre helped convince them they had to sell.

CFL observers who think the league tarnished because one man owns two teams are being “a little shortsighted” Braley said.

“The teams will be operated independently,” Braley said. “All football-related transactions will require written consent from the league.”

The Argos continued to make news on Wednesday, trading receivers Andre Talbot and Brad Smith to the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for defensive tackle Eric Taylor and a conditional draft pick in 2011.

Talbot, a nine-year Argo veteran, will be hard to replace. He missed the majority of the 2009 season with an ankle/foot injury and there was no one who stepped in and adequately filled his position.

“I’m pretty happy about it, actually,” Talbot said. “Sometimes change is necessary. The environment around this organization the past two years has been negative, to say the least. It’s a positive change and I am looking forward to it.”

In two years with the Eskimos, Taylor, a Tennessee native, has played in 19 games.

“With the departure of Walter Curry to the Jacksonville Jaquars, we felt it was important for us to acquire someone with CFL experience at defensive tackle,” Argos general manager Adam Rita said. “Eric Taylor brings size and quickness to the anchor spot and we look forward to seeing him compete at training camp.”

Taylor knows the Argos’ defensive line was a strength last season, with Adriano Belli, Kevin Huntley, Jonathan Brown and Claude Harriott solid at their positions.

“They stood out to me,” Taylor said. “They’re good players, but we all play the game. Battles at any position are good for he team.”

The Argos also released cornerback Jordan Younger.


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