The Toronto Argonauts have an intriguing setup at the most important position in football.
According to CFL sources, the contract 38-year-old Ricky Ray agreed to will pay him $335,000 in “hard money” with another $90,000 in available playtime bonuses for 2018. Meanwhile, 26-year-old James Franklin, who was acquired in a trade with Edmonton and subsequently signed a contract extension in Toronto, is scheduled to earn $250,000 in “hard money” and has the same possible playtime bonuses as Ray, $90,000.
That’s $585,000 plus however the playtime money is split up for a great one-two quarterback duo. For a reasonable $675,000 price the Argos have two high calibre quarterbacks in place. It’s similar to the Henry Burris and Trevor Harris situation in Ottawa during the 2016 season, which ended in a Grey Cup championship for the Redblacks. Burris was an ageing pivot and Harris was the future starter on the roster.
Ray won a record fourth Grey Cup in 2017 that capped a comeback season the veteran passer as he threw for 5,546 yards, his highest total since 2008. He became the fourth pivot in CFL history to pass for 60,000 yards.
Franklin has completed 116-of-176 passes (66 completion rate) for 1,449 yards and 12 touchdowns against one interception and carried the ball 18 times for 145 yards and one touchdown in three seasons with Edmonton. He’s seen as a young, up-and-coming signal caller with franchise potential around the league.
The investment in Ray and Franklin should pay dividends for the Argos.