Locked Up: Argos Extend CFL MOP Chad Owens
MISSISSAUGA – The Toronto Argonauts have agreed to a two-year contract extension with reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player (MOP) Chad Owens.
“We’ve reached an agreement with Chad to extend his contract for two years so we’re excited about that,” stated Argonauts general manager Jim Barker on Tuesday afternoon. “It was very professional and all along we’ve wanted Chad to be here. He’s a big part of what our brand has become and we’re excited about his commitment to us.”
Owens earned his first Most Outstanding Player award in 2012 following one of the most prolific seasons in CFL history, which saw him lead the Canadian Football League in both receiving yards (1,328) and combined return yards (2,418).
The 31-year-old Honolulu, Hawaii native also set a professional football record with 3,863 all-purpose yards in 2012, surpassing Michal “Pinball” Clemons’ 1997 total of 3,840 yards.
Owens’ historic 2012 campaign culminated as the Argonauts celebrated a 35-22 victory over the Calgary Stampeders at Rogers Centre in the 100th Grey Cup championship game.
The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” set an Argonauts single-game playoff record with 11 receptions for 207 yards in the Eastern Final against the Montreal Alouettes. Owens also scored a touchdown in Argonauts’ memorable Grey Cup win.
Recently, Owens was named the number one player on the CFL’s Top 50 Players list for 2013.
“I’m definitely happy and honoured that we were able to get this done. It shows the commitment and trust that they have in me. I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’d love to say that I want to finish my career here as an Argo,” remarked Owens following Tuesday’s Argonauts practice. “I have a lot of friends here now, great teammates, great coaches, great people in this city, and I’m just happy that I’m going to be here for the next couple of years.”
Acquired in 2010 in a trade with Montreal, Owens has since become one of the most dynamic players in the entire Canadian Football League. Over the course of his three seasons in Toronto, Owens has registered 2,636 receiving yards, 5,464 kick return yards, and 2,652 punt return yards. He is a three-time CFL All-Star, two times as a kick returner, and most recently in 2012 as a receiver.
Owens’ new deal will see him remain in Toronto through the 2014 CFL season.
In the midst of Chad Owens’ contract announcement, Argonauts general manager Jim Barker also confirmed that kicker Noel Prefontaine will be joining Toronto’s practice roster.
“Pre is going to be on our practice roster. He’s going to begin training and that type of thing in case of any issues with Swayze,” said Barker. “He’s on the practice roster so he practices but is not on the (active) roster.”
For Prefontaine, he is simply excited to be back on the football field in a Double Blue uniform.
“An opportunity presented itself where Swayze is the guy here and I’m here as more of a support person for him. I have a great deal of CFL experience and I’m just going to share as much as I can with the guys that have made this team and the guys that have been here for a while.”
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