The Toronto Argonauts are building something. They have brought in successful CFL GM Jim Popp and recently successful CFL coach Marc Trestman to put the organisation on the front foot after a lacklustre 5-13 2016 season.
Popp and Trestman could be the men to do it too, Popp having overseen 11 division titles and 4 Grey cup wins as a GM, and Trestman going 59-31 with 2 Grey cups to his name in his last CFL stint. It is fair to say, they know their way round this league and both having 3 year contracts in place at Toronto you can expect to see the Argos develop.
Toronto is Canada’s biggest potential market and the sales and marketing people behind the Argonauts and the CFL are well aware sales and interest could be higher. That’s where Johnny Manziel comes in. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats own Manziel’s negotiation list rights, so Popp would have to start there.
Johnny Football probably wouldn’t come cheap, possibly costing a first rounder, but to the Argos he may well be worth at least considering. Hard though it is to believe, he is still only 24, and definitely has the skill set to succeed in the CFL where the wider field and greater movement may well suit his style. From Toronto’s point of view he could bring on field success and just as importantly get people interested. Having an ex-college star didn’t work out all that badly all those years ago when they did it with Dough Flutie and this could be good business sense now.
This is Johnny Manziel so for all the possible success, the chance to sell tickets and generate buzz for the team and the league, there is always a chance that he might still have off field issues. Could Toronto offer him a chance to show he still has something to give? Sure. What if it all goes wrong? Well, as the CFL does not have the same guaranteed contracts as the NFL, they could just cut him and move on, so again this may make it worth the risk.
For now, Trestman is saying Ricky Ray is a ‘hall of fame quarterback’ who is his starter. Just don’t be surprised if the brains trust behind the Argos consider at least exploring the Manziel option.
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