S.J. Green quickly became comfortable in Toronto thanks to two men in charge.
While he’s set to become a free agent in February, it sounds like both the physically imposing receiver and the Argos management team want him to return.
“It’s a grimy business,” Green said as the Argos cleaned out their lockers. “When you have the type of relationship I have with Jim Popp it’s hard to put yourself in a predicament with another general manager.
“I would be an idiot to leave Marc [Trestman] and Popp.”
Popp brought Green to the league in 2007 and the GM and pass catcher have spent 11 years together in the CFL, with Trestman the head coach for five of those seasons. They’ve won the Grey Cup three times (2009, 2010 and 2017).
Shortly after Popp and Trestman were hired to run the Argos last February, the veteran player personnel man traded two sixth-round picks to Montreal for Green, who was coming off an ACL injury that cost him nearly the entire 2016 campaign.
“That put everything into perspective for me and I was able to take a step back and really appreciate life: my wife, kids, football and what it does for me and my family,” Green said.
“Take the time to really workout twice a week in-season on a consistent basis, this is the first year I was able to do that. Maintaining my strength throughout the season so that I could continue to perform on a weekly basis.”
The South Florida product put together a career-best season for catches (104) and yards (1,462) and hauled in 10 touchdowns, all of those numbers ranked second in the CFL in 2017.
“SJ Green might be the one guy who has made more of a difference in our football team than any player or coach in the organization. If there’s any player that I’m most proud of it’s probably him, the way he has handled himself and the leadership that he has brought to not only our team but our organization.”
Green is a pending free agent as the three-year pact he signed in Montreal with Popp in 2015 runs out in February. But everybody seems to agree on the future of the elite receiver being in Double Blue.
“I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody else but S.J. Green, but that’ll be a collective decision that we make in personnel. After the season that he had, I would hope that it would be ridiculous to think that he couldn’t come back and play at the same level one more time,” Trestman said.
The six-foot-two, 216-pound pass catcher was a CFL all-star for the second time in his career in 2017. Green has played 134 CFL games making 548 catches for 8,088 yards and 52 touchdowns and five out of the last seven seasons the 32-year-old has crossed the 1,000-yard mark.
“We’ll make every opportunity for S.J. to be here,” Popp said. “We definitely would love to have S.J. back here and I think he definitely wants to be here, but until that’s signed, the ink’s dry and it’s turned into the league, we will stay very positive that’s going to happen and until it does it’s not done.”