February 17, 2010

Blockbuster: Argos, Stamps make deal

CFL.ca Staff

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts Football Club has acquired CFL All-Star receiver Jeremaine Copeland from the Calgary Stampeders in exchange for WR P.K. Sam.

“Jeremaine is a productive receiver who brings a presence to our receiving corps,” said Jim Barker, Head Coach, Toronto Argonauts. “I’ve won championships with him in three different cities and I don’t believe there is a player in the world who is better with a ball in the air than Jeremaine. Beyond his abilities as a receiver, he brings with him many intangibles.  He will bring to our locker room and to the field the veteran leadership it takes to win.”

Copeland is coming off a career season that saw him capture CFL and West Division All-Star accolades with the Stamps. The nine-year CFL veteran who has notched five 1,000+ yard campaigns and 72 career receiving touchdowns will join Head Coach Jim Barker for the fourth time in his football career.

The two first teamed up in 2001 in Los Angeles where they won the first and only XFL championship together. One season later, Copeland and Barker worked their magic to bring a Grey Cup championship to Montreal and then, in 2008, the pair thrilled the city of Calgary by winning a Grey Cup title at Olympic Stadium.

“Coach Barker is one person I do not mind following from team to team and riding for,” said Copeland. “I love him as a coach and a person and will always give my all for him.  Toronto is great city which deserves to have a great CFL team.  I believe I can contribute and help turn things around this year.”

Copeland is one of the most electrifying receivers in the Canadian Football League. His career numbers are extraordinary having caught 531 passes for 8,765 yards. He’s missed the CFL playoffs only once (as a rookie in 2001) and has competed in nine playoff games, starting in three Grey Cup championship games. A two-time CFL All-Star (2003 & 2009), Copeland has earned divisional all-star on three occasions (2003, 2004 & 2009).

“First, I’d like to thank Jeremaine for his contributions to the Stampeders over the past five years,” said Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel. “He has been a terrific pro and we wish him the best in Toronto.

“But I’m very excited to welcome P.K. Sam to the team. He has two years of CFL experience under his belt and definitely has shown signs that he could be a breakthrough player in 2010. He has good size and athleticism and I look forward to seeing what he can do when we go to training camp in June.”

Sam recorded 27 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns in nine contests for the Argos in 2009. He had at least one catch in each of the nine games he started last season and recorded multiple catches in six contests, including a season-high eight passes for 135 yards on Oct. 16 against Edmonton.

“I’m really excited about the trade,” said Sam. “I’m looking forward to going to camp with a team that has won a lot of games the past few years and has a legitimate shot of getting back to the Grey Cup.”

The six-foot-three, 210-pound receiver has played in 15 regular-season games and caught 63 passes for 884 yards and five touchdowns. The 26-year old product of Florida State was originally drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004 and joined Toronto in 2008.

Copeland will be in Toronto for the exclusive Argos season ticket holder Fan Forum on Tuesday, February 23.