January 25, 2018

Argos issue statement in response to Wilder announcement

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts released a statement Thursday afternoon addressing the announcement made by running back James Wilder Jr. where he spoke to the intention of sitting out the 2018 season.

The team-issued statement reads:

“As per league rules, all players entering the CFL must sign a minimum two year contract. James Wilder Jr. is currently entering the second year of that entry contract. We have not had any discussions with James about extending or restructuring his current contract. Nor have we had any discussions with his representation. League rules also state that teams, whether in the CFL or NFL, are prohibited from contacting any player currently under contract.

We appreciate all of the contributions James made to the Argonauts last year. We certainly hope he changes his stance and would welcome his return.”

Wilder caught many off guard Wednesday night when he abruptly announced he would consider sitting out the remainder of his contract in 2018 citing the terms of his deal and potential future NFL opportunities as some of the reasons for the decision.

Wilder’s full statement can be read here.

Should Wilder choose to sit out 2018, and the Argos don’t release him, the team would be expected to place him on the suspended list.

Wilder was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2017 after combining for 1,405 yards en route to an eventual Grey Cup Championship with the Argos.

The Argos’ 6-foot-3 back sparked a dramatic mid-season turnaround for the Boatmen, breaking out with a 257-yard performance vs. the Eskimos in September and kick-starting a 7-2 run, culminating in a Grey Cup win over the Stampeders.