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TORONTO — Quarterback is one of, if not the most important positions in all of football, and while several CFL franchises have found themselves a star signal-caller, the Toronto Argonauts are still in search of the man that they want to lead their offence in 2020.
With the recent hiring of new head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, the Argos have added an individual who has more than enough experience when it comes to developing quarterbacks. The question now becomes who would be the best fit to lead the double blue going forward.
“It’s gonna be a limbo here until free agency,” Dinwiddie told CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary of the team’s current situation under centre at the CFL GM Meetings. “We’re gonna look at free agency with guys we could sign and we’re going to go through and rank those guys. I’ve already ranked them. They already have the rankings. (I’ve) put that together.”
The widespread speculation was that Dinwiddie would be able to land Nick Arbuckle, who spent the last few years learning under him. However, the Ottawa REDBLACKS appear at the moment to have beaten the Argos to the punch. The team acquired Arbuckle’s rights and have over a month to work out a deal with the 26-year-old.
That leaves the Argos looking for a different option to be their starting pivot in 2020. With Jeremiah Masoli already off the board and Arbuckle likely to head to the nation’s capital, the options have become thinner for the double blue. There’s the trio of Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterbacks that are still set the hit the open market in February.
“(We’ll) see how it goes and there are two guys on our roster now that I really, really believe in. (Michael) O’Connor is a young guy. He’s got a ways to go. You don’t want to throw young guys in the fire too quickly or you burn them out. And then I like McLeod (Bethel-Thompson). I thought McLeod did some good things last year and obviously put up really good numbers.”
While O’Connor is under contract heading into 2020, Bethel-Thompson is a pending free agent, so that will be an interesting situation to monitor. If the Boatmen fail to land a quarterback that they’re happy with in free agency, they could opt to bring back MacBeth for another season while continuing to develop O’Connor, who Toronto selected 20th overall in the 2019 CFL Draft.
Ottawa and Toronto were the two intriguing landing spots when it came to the quarterback position heading into the off-season, and now that the REDBLACKS look to have found their man, the focus will shift over to the Argonauts.