Argos loading up
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
|The Argos signed another potential back-up for starting quarterback Ricky Ray (above) on Thursday. They also picked up an NFL-tested receiver and safety for training camp. (REUTERS)
The Argos’ off-season of player procurement and development continued on Thursday with the signing of three players.
What, if any, impact receiver Samie Parker, quarterback Trevor Harris and safety Matt Estrada will have on the team is so difficult to tell that it would be foolish for anyone to offer any kind of guess.
More than anything, what it underscored was the team’s determination to acquire as much talent as possible heading into training camp, allowing rookie head coach Scott Milanovich and veteran defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones to make the best possible decisions for opening night as the Argos kickoff one of the most important seasons in recent memory.
In Harris, the Argos get a quarterback with NCAA Division II roots who was a final NFL cut in 2010 with Jacksonville.
As it stands, the Argos now have five quarterbacks under contract with Ricky Ray as the incumbent. B.J. Hall is the lone holdover from last season, an athletic asset who has yet to grasp the concepts of a pocket passer.
In Milanovich’s scheme, the pass will be featured, which is a no-brainer given Ray’s abilities. What must be established is role definition behind Ray with the likes of veteran Jarious Jackson and one-time Ticat Adam Tafralis having the inside track based simply on their CFL experience
Parker, who turned 31 on Wednesday, appeared in 47 regular-season games for the Kansas City Chiefs.
At Oregon, Parker left the program as the school’s career-leader in receptions and receiving yards and more recently won back-to-back titles in the UFL and played in the AFL.
Parker’s signing brings to six the number of import receivers the Argos have signed this off-season, the marquee name being Jason Barnes, who is expected to emerge as Ray’s go-to option.
If one were to glance at Toronto’s roster, one will see 11 import receivers and six non-imports, which speaks to the team’s all-out blitz to find quality players capable of making plays in the air and down the field.
Estrada, meanwhile, is a hard-hitting defensive back whose style of play at the collegiate level went viral. In 2011, he spent 13 weeks on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice roster.