It’s possible, a CFL source whispered to me yesterday, the Argonauts will sooner or later turn around and trade one of their two veteran quarterbacks.
As of last night, however, the Toronto brain trust was sticking to its story that it is preparing to employ both Kerry Joseph and Michael Bishop in 2008.
Talk about asking for trouble, though. Seriously, if this scenario doesn’t mean a QB controversy, I don’t know what would.
The Argos will hold a news conference today to confirm they’ve completed a major trade with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for Joseph, the CFL’s premier player last season. At the same time, however, they will also announce they’ve extended Bishop’s contract. Yep, both QBs are getting raises.
“You really need two good quarterbacks in the CFL, and I’m sure that’s what the Argos will say,” the aforementioned source said. “But Bishop couldn’t tolerate the notion of backing up in Toronto last season and I doubt he’ll be different now. And how could you tell Joseph he won’t start after his career year?
“Hey, one of them could end up in Winnipeg before the season starts. The (Blue) Bombers need quarterbacking. I’ve seen stranger things happen in the CFL.”
For at least the next while, however, the Argos will be all smiles and will proudly proclaim that Joseph and Bishop can coexist. The best QB in training camp will start, they’ll say.
Joseph, 35 next month, became unhappy with the Riders after leading them to the CFL championship last year. He recently tried to jump to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints but was rejected. He took a pay cut of $125,000 before last season to help Saskatchewan comply with the CFL’s salary cap but the club refused to let him recoup any money with a revised pact for 2008. He made $225,000 last season, with bonuses, and was to collect $250,000 in ’08.
For Joseph, the Riders obtained two draft picks and linemen Glenn January and Ronald Flemons, both of whom finished last season as starters.
Likely to succeed Joseph as the ’Riders’ starting QB is Marcus Crandell, also a CFL veteran who has won a Grey Cup. Joseph was the CFL’s third-ranked passer in 2007 with 4,002 yards.
It’s been a tough off-season for the Riders, who also lost coach Kent Austin, linebacker Reggie Hunt, defensive lineman Fred Perry and running back Corey Holmes.