Argos release veteran Sam

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:21 PM ET

TORONTO - P.K. Sam’s return to the Argos was a short one.

The fourth-year CFL receiver along with offensive lineman Nasser Jamal and import wide receiver Todd Lowber were released yesterday, but Sam was the lone veteran in the group.

His release is as puzzling to the man who released him as it was to those who follow the team.

“It just never seemed to happen for him here whether it was the way we do things or I don’t know, It just didn’t happen,” Argos GM and head coach Jim Barker said. “He’s a smooth receiver, probably the best of the receivers as a true receiver, but it’s about making plays and doing those things and he just didn’t do that.”

Sam had two or three drops in Saturday’s pre-season game and a fumble that was recovered. Barker though felt it was the right time to release him for both the team and the player.

“He is a veteran player and I wanted to give him a chance to catch on somewhere else,” Barker said.

Sam was traded to Calgary a year ago for Jeremaine Copeland and then traded back to Toronto this past off-season in a four-player deal that included Miguel Robede coming to the Argos.

Barker has more depth at the receiver position than he did a year ago which also played into the decision.

“There is a great battle going on,” Barker said of the receiver position. “Unfortunately we only have two weeks and two pre-season games and we have to make decisions. We just felt like this was the right decision for us.”

James Robinson, who is in his fourth year with the Argos but taking part in just his second training camp after spending the early part of last season with the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns, would appear to be one of those who could benefit by Sam’s departure.

“At the end of the day you can’t worry about what goes on in the (front) office,” Robinson said. “You just have to come out here and do what you can do on the playing field.”

Barker and the Argos to a large extent have been very patient with Robinson as he has learned the intricacies of the Canadian game, but there was no doubt in Barker’s mind that Robinson warranted a return invitation this year.

“It was a no-brainer to bring him back,” Barker said. “He didn’t play toward the end of the year because he got hurt but there was a lot of strides he made last year. This year he was able to come in and had an idea of what we do and the way we do things and he’s just learning that.”

Barker said Robinson’s skill set is just too attractive to overlook.

“He’s doing better every day,” Barker said. “James has great speed, he has great hands and he’s learning on the run how to adjust to what happens to him. That takes time. He has been four years at it and you see progress. You start to see a lot of the little things. He gives us something we don’t have. He’s battling with Brandon Rideau and Jason Harmon and they’re all battling it out.”

Thursday’s game in Winnipeg is going to be very big for all three players.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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