Barring an 11th hour deal, Kevin Eiben’s days as an Argo are coming to an end.
In the bottom line world of pro football, Eiben’s expected departure seems inevitable when one takes into account the money the Argos have committed to quarterback Ricky Ray and the constraints that are unavoidable in a cap system.
As Wednesday’s noon deadline for free agency drew nearer, it’s believed the Argos were nowhere near retaining Eiben.
Even if Eiben is somehow re-signed, it’s questionable where he’d fit in Chris Jones’ new defensive system.
An 11-year veteran who spent his entire career with the Argos, Eiben is a three-time CFL all-star linebacker, a Grey Cup champion and a veteran presence any should covet, at least any team willing to pony up.
Eiben, 32, lost his starting job last season and later had his year cut short when he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in August.
Eiben has always been in great shape, owns and operates two personal training centres in the GTA and can still play at a high level, assuming he’s in the right system and team.
As the free-agent clock ticks, it’s looking like Eiben will now be looking for a new place to call his football home.
ONLEY GIVES GREY CUP A BOOST
Who says sports and politics can’t co-exist.
When it comes to all matters related to the pigskin, it can.
Argos owner David Braley is a Senator and on Tuesday his chief executive and de facto quarterback of this year’s 100th Grey Cup appointed David Onley as the honourary chair of the event.
Most know Onley during his time at City-TV, but for the more politically inclined he’s served his province as Lieutenant Governor.
“The Honourable David Onley has a long history of support for the CFL and has been a lifetime fan of the Toronto Argonauts,” Argos president Chris Rudge said in a statement. “We are truly overwhelmed by the number of people from across this country who have come forward to support this once in a lifetime event, and we are especially honoured that Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor has accepted this prominent post for the 100th Grey Cup Festival in Toronto.”
Added Onley in a statement: “The Grey Cup trophy was first established by Canada’s ninth Governor General, the Honourable Earl Grey, and I am thrilled as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to continue this tradition of support for Canada’s game.
“I remember listening to the ’57 Cup on the radio with my dad as we didn’t have television in Midland. I didn’t know who the Tiger-Cats or the Blue Bombers were but thought they were great names and became a lifelong CFL fan. This will be my third Grey Cup and as Lieutenant Governor I have enjoyed taking in a number of Argos and Tiger-Cats games. I hope, as the Ontario Lieutenant Governor, that one of them gets to this historic 100th Grey Cup.”