April 24, 2024

5 Things to Know For 2024: Toronto Argonauts

Arthur Ward/CFL.ca

As the 2024 season approaches, CFL.ca is here to catch you up with the 5 Things To Know series. Each article will look at key storylines facing each team this season, while examining off-season movement and where your team might stand in 2024. 

“What If” is right near the top of my list of emotional states you do not want to live in.

It’s why I would be a lousy stock broker, my biggest bets rarely go north of $10 and I would be a miserable coach. I can only imagine how difficult an off-season it was for head coach Ryan Dinwiddie and a team that set a team record for regular season wins only to commit nine turnovers in a 38-17 loss in the Eastern Finals to the Montreal Alouettes.

Toronto was the clear favourite that day at BMO Field but at least can take comfort in knowing they were bested by a more than worthy foe as Montreal went on to win the Grey Cup. Who’s kidding who, I imagine that brought zero solace to a team that had a chance to have one of the most successful single seasons in CFL history. Free agency was a chaotic one for the roster but that’s to be excepted when you had a team packed with talent in a salary cap sport.

The Argonauts have all the pieces for a Grey Cup win as long as they can get over that emotional hangover that comes with a hearty dose of “What If”.

5 Things to Know for 2024: Saskatchewan Roughriders
» 5 Things to Know for 2024: BC Lions
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“I’m still pissed, man, and I’m not gonna get over it. I don’t think it’s for me to get over. I think it’s for me to learn from it and to let it burn. And to always have that feeling.”

That from a recent McManis interview with Don Landry summarizes the feelings of the majority of the team. Going though the interview it is clear that beyond rage, McManis is feeling at peace after having his contract extended by Toronto and with the recent birth of his baby daughter. On the field Wynton is at the peak of his powers having made back-to-back CFL All-Star teams and finishing with career highs in sacks and interceptions. I wouldn’t be shocked to see McManis focus his 2023 disappointment into a 2024 East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player nomination.



How do you replace a two-time East Division All-Star running back? Going with a two-time West Division All-Star running back is a pretty good answer. Toronto is going to miss the bearded battering ram that is Ouellette but Pinball Clemons picked up an excellent replacement in Carey whose 2023 season was cut short due to a foot injury he suffered back in June.

At 31-years-old Carey’s age may be a red flag for some but he still averaged over five yards a carry last year and for his career Carey has never dipped below 5.3 yards. He led the league in rushing in 2022 and if healthy will again challenge for a rushing title especially playing behind the Argonauts formidable offensive line.


First the numbers. Toronto allowed a CFL low 19 sacks last in 2023 and the Argonauts offence put up 591 total offensive points, averaging a gaudy 7.3 yards per play.

The Argos are blessed with that oh so rare commodity of continuity on the offensive line. All-Stars Darius Ciraco, Ryan Hunter and 2023 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award winner Dejon Allen are all back and blocking for the Double Blue. Sticking with the theme of consistency, Isiah Cage was also extended this off-season, meaning Toronto is set from tackle to tackle.

Look for the Argonauts to again be among the league leaders in points, total yardage and most importantly in yards per play.


WR DaVaris Daniels had 1,009 yards and five majors in 2023 (Christian Bender/CFL.ca)

It would be unrealistic to expect the offence to be just as explosive and efficient in 2024. Injuries happen, team’s get more tape and find new ways to scheme against you.

That is not taking away anything from this current roster rather an acknowledgment about how special 2023 was. However, when you look at the overall makeup of the receivers you can make an argument for even greater fireworks.

Let’s start with the young targets. Dejon Brissett and Damonte Coxie have two things in common, they’re both 27-years-old and both set career highs in receptions and receiving yards. At that age they’re both hitting their peaks as football players and last year could be a preview for even greater things especially with Coxie who earned an East Division All-Star spot while averaging a CFL leading 20.1 yards per catch. Tommy Nield is two years younger and caught 32 passes for 384 yards. Those are modest numbers over the course of an entire season but he did that after Week 14! Finally you have “old man” DaVaris Daniels who just happened to put up his first 1,000 yard season at the age of 31.


The Argonauts defence is in good shape when you have building blocks like McManis at linebacker and All-Star Folarin Orimolade on the defensive line. Add half man/half sequoia Shawn Oakman in the middle of the line and it’s easy to envision the Argonauts defence again wrecking havoc in the East. However it is difficult to see it playing at the same heights that saw them collect a CFL-best 68 sacks and force 54 turnovers, also a CFL high.

The next time we see cornerback Qwan’tez Stiggers it will be in the NFL. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats poached two productive linemen in Dewayne Hendrix (six sacks) & Brandon Barlow (nine sacks). But none of those departures are as significant as the loss of the best defensive player in the East, linebacker/defensive back Adarius Pickett who signed with the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

There will be opportunities for new players to step in and prove they belong but it would be naïve to think the defence will be able to hit those sorts of statistical highs again. Last year was just a perfect storm of health and talent acquisition for Toronto’s defence which is so hard to replicate. Yeah now we can all see why McManis is still furious.

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