The B.C. Lions lost a major cog on their offensive line yesterday as free agent tackle Rob Murphy signed with the Toronto Argonauts.

The six-foot-five, 310-pound Murphy was considered the top lineman in free agency and one of the best players available overall. The former Ohio State Buckeye is not only a big, tough player, but also has a nasty disposition on the field.

Murphy will fill a void for a Toronto offensive line that finished second-last in sacks allowed (48) and yards rushing (93.3 yards per game) and last in total yards (347.3 per game). Toronto and Hamilton were the two teams expected to go heavily after Murphy in free agency.

The Lions also announced yesterday that free agent all-star linebacker Anton McKenzie has agreed to terms on a contract.

“Anton is a very good player who brings a wealth of talent to our defence and special teams,” said Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono. “I believe he will make an immediate impact.” McKenzie will enter his fourth season in the CFL after originally being signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2006. The newest member of the Lions has appeared in 30 regular season games, recording 68 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.