February 16, 2010

Argos make splash into free agency pool

Argonauts.ca Staff

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — The Toronto Argonauts Football Club cast into the CFL free agent pool today and reeled in two big ones. The Boatmen welcomed back ball-hawking cornerback Byron Parker and strengthened their offensive line by signing non-import OG Cedric Gagne-Marcoux.

Commented Toronto Argonauts’ General Manager/VP, Football Operations, Adam Rita, “It’s great to have Byron back with the Argos.  This year, he’ll be with us in training camp and we anticipate he will help us with several positions in the secondary.  Hopefully, he will offer us leadership and return to the form and focus he had early in his career that created many turnovers and touchdowns for the Double Blue.”

Enthused Parker, “I’m excited to come back to my adopted home of Toronto, where I started my career.  I wanted to be around the people I enjoy being with and those people are in Toronto.  I’m looking forward to help re-build the tradition of winning with the Toronto Argonauts.  To all the fans, I’m happy to be back and look forward to seeing you soon.”

An incredibly versatile athlete, Parker played parts of five seasons as a cornerback, receiver and returner for the Boatmen. He set club records for most interception return yards in a season (348 in 2006), interception return yards in a game (135 at Hamilton on September 9, 2006), career touchdowns by interception (6) and single-season touchdowns by interception (4). Parker re-joined the Argonauts in September 2009 after a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles and played two games for the Double Blue before being dealt to Edmonton on September 28. He started six games including the West Semi-Final for the Esks.

Rita discussed Gagne-Marcoux’s signing, “We’re very excited to have firstly, someone Dominic Picard can talk to. Picard and Gagne-Marcoux played together in CEGEP and we hope to improve our play with him. He is able to play all of the inside positions on the offensive line which should provide us with good experience at both Centre and Guard where we know he will be able to compete for a starting position.  We are gaining the kind of depth we want on our o-line to improve their play across the board.”

Gagne-Marcoux commented, “For me, it was obvious where I wanted to go in free agency.  I’ve always liked to play at Rogers Centre in Toronto.  Also, Taylor Robertson and Dominic Picard are my two best friends in the League.  Taylor has always been a mentor to me and to get a chance to play with those guys is so exciting for me.  The aggressiveness and intensity of the o-line in Toronto is my kind of style of play.”

Gagne-Marcoux was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 CFL Canadian Draft by Hamilton. Game-ready, the Central Florida product finished his final year of eligibility and reported to Hamilton the next season and started all 18 games as a rookie in 2007. The 27-year old had played his entire three-year CFL career with the Ticats and dressed in 22 games with 19 starts.