A Bear Woods signing is nice but not necessarily necessary.

TORONTO, Ont. (30/05/17) Ð Toronto Argonauts players participate in their training camp at York University on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Photo by Bea Serdon for the Toronto Argonauts

Toronto – If this bothers you I’m sorry, I guess. Yes it would be nice to have Bear Woods but the Argos have greater holes to fill and should allocate those resources elsewhere.

As reported by various media outlets Bear Woods has been offered a contract by Toronto. So far, whether it’s an ongoing negotiation or representatives of Woods are seeking other offers is unclear.

I’m a little surprised how quiet things have been since Woods was released by Montreal.

I’m sure most fans beleived that a marriage/reunion between Woods and Jim Popp was inevitable.

I do find it interesting that we haven’t heard reports of other teams’ interest and subsequent offers. Is the price to high? Are teams shying away from signing a 30 year old import linebacker? You would think every team can use a player like Bear Woods.

Now I know the argument for bringing Woods to Argo land is simple. Whenever you can upgrade your team with a defensive player of the year you do so.

And that’s true. Signing Woods does improve the team. But does it potentially given what he may be asking for in terms of salary limit the team in their ability to make other moves?

In a salary cap world there is only so much money to go around. So what if signing Bear Woods forces you to cut another player where there is no “real” replacement?

What if signing Bear Woods costs you the opportunity of signing another player who fills a greater need?

If the delay in Woods signing with the Argos is because Toronto has made an offer and aren’t willing to budge off their number than that’s a good thing.  An over pay creates the same cap issues that Popp created in Montreal that hamstrung the team.

Woods is not a replacement for the recently retired Winston Venable. And last year’s starter Marshall McFadden should Woods come on board won’t be shifting over to the SAM spot. He’ll be sent to the bench.

Wouldn’t it be good to maybe look at bringing back a former Argo who could play the same spot like Greg Jones whom the Riders let go a couple of weeks ago? A Jones signing would add good depth at that position at a much cheaper cost.

In 8 games played last season the 27 yr old in his CFL rookie season registered 36 tackles and 0 quarterback sacks. Hardly spectacular but the team likes what they’ve seen from him and at 27 years old he hasn’t come close to what his ceiling may be.

McFadden is also cheaper. He’s likely only making half of what Woods would cost and when you’re trying to put together a puzzle you need pieces though out the field that fit.

What about the secondary. Aside from the injuries the over all lack luster play from Torontos’ defensive backs was a major contributor to their 5 and 13 record.

Now defensive backs aren’t usually a major hit on the cap but would it be such a bad idea to keep some money in  your pocket for a late NFL cut type signing?

In my opinion as training camp continues to move along one of the most pressing questions going into camp has not yet been answered. That question is who is going to cover Ricky Ray’s blindside?

As it stands today the Argos don’t have a legitimate, credible, experienced left tackle to protect what is the most important position on the field.

With that being the case a signing or re-signing of Greg Van Roten would make me just as happy.

Van Roten is currently a free agent and is exploring opportunities in the NFL. He may have zero interest in returning to the CFL, I’m not sure. But given his age, experience and what I think it would cost that may be where the dollars should shift towards assuming he’s interested.

If the quarterback is truly the most important position on the field, and we know that it is, then make sure you have as few questions or concerns regarding his ability to stay on the field and succeed as possible.

Bear Woods is a monster, but even the 30 year old East Division Player of the Year, can’t carry a team to the playoffs with below average play from their quarterback. And that’s what has happened in Montreal since the day after Anthony Calvillo retired.

A similar story has unfolded in B.C. where the Lions have had 2 all-stars in Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian and haven’t been back to the Grey Cup since 2011.

The CFL has always been a passing league but more so more than ever.  Those who pass the football and those who defend against it should be the priority.

If the Argos believe Ricky Ray has another good year left in him, than make sure he’s upright for 18 games.

Bear Woods is a luxury, an embarrassment of riches so if he joins the Double Blue than good for us.

But just make sure there money to fill other questions that have yet to be answered.

Follow Anthony @AnthonyCiar

About Anthony Ciardulli (60 Articles)
Husband, Dad, Comedian and long time Argo fan.

1 Comment on A Bear Woods signing is nice but not necessarily necessary.

  1. We all want a proven CFL star on our team and having the pedigree of a Bear Woods as an Argo is dizzing. That said, your points make a great deal of sense. Keeping Ricky Ray upright is the most important issue. Without him, we’re going nowhere. Thanks for making it clear.


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