On the same day Marc Trestman and Jim Popp were officially hired as the Argos new head coach and general manager tandem, Toronto added quarterback Jimmy Clausen to the team’s negotiation list.
The move, made Feb. 28, is especially interesting when you consider that Trestman and Clausen worked together for parts of two seasons in Chicago and Baltimore. The Bears signed Clausen for 2014, Trestman’s last year in the Windy City and the Ravens claimed the Notre Dame product off waivers the following season while Trestman was the offensive coordinator. Clausen knows Trestman’s offence.
The Argonauts currently have Ricky Ray, who Trestman named the starting quarterback during his introductory press conference at BMO Field, as well as fellow quarterbacks Drew Willy, Jeff Mathews and Cody Fajardo on the roster.
Clausen was drafted in the second round, 48th overall by Carolina in the 2010 NFL draft. He’s played in 21 NFL games, making 14 starts throwing for 2,520 yards, seven touchdowns, 14 interceptions, a 54 percent completion rate and a 61.9 QB rating. Since finishing the 2015 season with Baltimore, Clausen has been a free agent.
Coming out of Oaks Christian High School in California, Clausen won the Hully Trophy, akin to the Heisman Trophy for American high school, as the top player in the United States. He threw for 49 touchdowns and led his school to its first-ever state title in 2006. That led to accepting a scholarship at the University of Notre Dame.
The six-foot-two, 210-pound quarterback started as a freshman for the Irish and played three seasons in South Bend. Clausen passed for 8,148 yards, 60 touchdowns, 27 interceptions while completing 62.6 of his attempts and registering a 137.2 QB rating. During Clausen’s junior season, his last year at Notre Dame, he threw for 3,722 yards, 28 touchdowns against four interceptions in 12 games. Then he decided to forego his senior campaign and enter the NFL draft.