Argos aim for more Bombers

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

The Argos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are talking again about a possible trade that could send a quarterback to Toronto.

Winnipeg is dangling Spergon Wynn and Tee Martin, but the Argos want only Wynn.

"Things change as we go," Winnipeg general manager Brendan Taman said of the ongoing talks.

One source expected a deal to be done this week as part of the ongoing league congress meetings in Toronto, and speculated the Argos would give up a pick and a player to acquire Wynn, who has been a backup in his first three seasons.

The Argos want some experience to go along with veteran Damon Allen, rookie Eric Crouch and sophomore Charlie Peterson. Allen's backup for the past three seasons, Michael Bishop, is playing for Chicago in the Arena Football League and is not expected to be part of the Argos' future plans, although he still is on the club's roster.

Doing the deal

Argos owners Howard Sokolowski and David Cynamon became involved in the final negotiations to acquire versatile free-agent returner Keith Stokes when the deal fell apart on Saturday. It was finalized on Sunday.

"We just thought it was so important for our team and our fans," Sokolowski said.

"He's a utility man," Cynamon added. "He can fit in anywhere. We've never had that before."

Stokes, who played the past two years in Winnipeg, is a proven receiver and has college experience as a running back. The Argos have a solid receiving corps and feature running back John Avery and dependable backup Jeff Johnson.

"I'm not afraid of competition," Stokes said. "I'm going to go out there to play well. If I make plays, they'll have to find a place to put me on the field."

What's next for Bashir?

With the signing of Stokes, the Argos have to decide what they will do with Bashir Levingston. He has been the team's primary return specialist the past four years and is arguably the best in the league, but the Argos wanted Stokes because of his versatility.

Levingston wants the team to release him so he can explore opportunities with other teams, but the Argos will likely try to trade him before releasing him prior to a scheduled bonus payment on March 1.

"He's been a good Argonaut and we'll try to do what's right for him and the team," GM Adam Rita said.

One source speculated the Argos would try to trade Levingston to a Western team so they won't have to face him as much, but league-wide interest may be minimal given Levingston's salary of $125,000. That's high for a player considered primarily a returner, but he'll command attention on the open market playing for a reduced salary.


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