The Argonauts' off-season revamping has continued in a major way.
The Argos have acquired linebacker Zeke Moreno from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, as well as the Bombers' best sixth-round pick in the 2009 CFL draft, in exchange for defensive end Riall Johnson.
The trade comes two days after the Argos re-made the offensive line with the free-agent signings of Rob Murphy and Dominic Picard.
The 30-year-old Moreno, a two-time all-star, has led the Canadian Football League in tackles the past two seasons, recording 97 with the Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2008 after making 114 with Hamilton in 2007. The 6-foot-2, 246-pound Moreno is quick and agile, a combination that has given offences fits.
The Argos were 4-14 last season and missed the playoffs, but their acquisitions this week should go a long way in getting them back into playoff contention in 2009.
"Get ready Toronto -- I'm so glad to be on board when we turn this thing around," Moreno said. "Believe it or not, my goal is not to play for every CFL team, although I'm almost halfway there. I plan to finish my career as an Argonaut."
Getting Johnson out of the locker room will be a bonus for the Argos. He spent much of last season complaining that he was not starting and then blasted management when the season ended. That he was traded comes as no surprise.
For Argos general manager Adam Rita, bringing in Moreno is another indication he wants a team that is more aggressive. That new attitude started with Murphy and Picard.
"I feel very fortunate that we were able to get a player of Zeke Moreno's toughness, grit and aggressiveness," Rita said. "He has strong leadership skills, both on the field and in the locker room.
"Zeke is a proven player who had led the league in tackles for two seasons. We expect him to do the same with the Argos and be an anchor for our defence."