Star receiver Derel Walker has decided to sign a one-year contract in the with the Toronto Argonauts, per sources.
The deal is in the $275,000 range which makes Walker the highest paid non-quarterback in the league.
The Argos flew Walker to Toronto this week and put a full court press on the top receiver available on the free agent market. He watched the Raptors beat the Washington Wizards at Scotiabank Arena in Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment’s private suite.
Walker left Toronto without signing the deal choosing to fly home and discuss the final decision with family in Texas.
Walker was scheduled to visit other teams around the CFL but those trips didn’t happen.
Walker spent parts of three seasons with current Argos quarterback James Franklin in Edmonton. That rapport played in Toronto’s favour.
Walker is coming off an injury-shortened season after hurting his left leg in the second quarter of Edmonton’s Labour Day loss to Calgary when it bent awkwardly during a tackle. He didn’t play again the rest of the 2018 season but still made 51 catches for 875 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games.
The two-time CFL all-star and 2015 Grey Cup champion signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January of 2017, but he was released by the Bucs among the final cuts after training camp, which made him a free agent. Walker signed with the Eskimos midway through 2017, posting 48 catches for 634 yards and two touchdowns in eight games while scoring a rushing touchdown.
Walker finished second in CFL receiving yards during the 2017 season with 1,589 and a team-leading 10 touchdowns on 109 catches in 17 games in 2016. He had 1,110 yards and six touchdowns on 89 catches in just 12 games and was the league’s most outstanding rookie in 2015.
Walker is a splash signing for the Argos.