With Wednesday’s CFL trade deadline just around the corner and the Toronto Argonauts playoff hopes gone, one player already drawing interest is veteran receiver S.J. Green.
Sources say multiple teams have called about Green but have been told he’s not available. But with Saturday’s loss in B.C. putting the Argos’ post-season chances at zero, it will be interesting to see if GM Jim Popp tries to get an asset for the 33-year old Green. A three-time Grey Cup champion, Green has been clutch in big moments and there are a handful of teams who could use help at receiver, including Winnipeg, Edmonton and Hamilton.
Salary cap considerations are often a factor in trade talks, particularly as many teams are squeezed for space late in the season. But Green has been paid a large portion of his 2018 salary already. The veteran receiver inked a two-year contract extension last off-season worth $210,000 in hard money, including a $90,000 signing bonus. The base salary is $65,000 of which more than $50,000 has already been paid, as has most of his housing allowance of $45,000. Depending how much of his $10,000 travel allowance has been paid, a team acquiring Green could only be responsible for as little as $35,000 the rest of the season.
Green leads the Argos in the three major receiving categories: 62 catches for 791 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games. Toronto has employed three different starting quarterbacks in 2018 (Ricky Ray, James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson) but Green is still on pace for another 1,000-yard season. Despite being in his mid 30’s when production normally falls off, Green is still showing excellent athleticism and production numbers.
The tricky part for inquiring teams is fitting the extra year on Green’s contract into the cap which pays him through 2019 at a similar rate to his current salary of $210,000 in hard money. But for the value Green could provide any suitor it might be worth the investment even if the team uses him for the stretch drive and Grey Cup run then releases the veteran in the off-season.
Green was acquired by Popp for a sixth-round pick and conditional selection in a trade with the Montreal Alouettes prior to the 2017 season and had an excellent season while helping the Argos to a Grey Cup win. He spent 10 years with Popp in Montreal and they have a strong working relationship – one could see the veteran general manager possibly willing to let Green get another shot at another title.