Argos took trade calls for Derel Walker, but want to ‘build around’ superstar receiver

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The Toronto Argonauts had inquiries about receiver Derel Walker at the trade deadline, but weren’t open to dealing the star pass catcher.

“We did field calls for Derel Walker, but we didn’t entertain anything,” general manager Michael Pinball Clemons said on 620 CKRM radio.

“He is part of that base that we’re building on and he’s not a guy like Zach [Collaros] that would be a guy that we would want to go and see him have playtime or something like that. Those are the guys that we’re going to try to build around.”

The 28-year-old has 65 catches for 1,040 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games despite a rotation of quarterbacks between James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson during the 2019 season.

Walker signed a lucrative one-year deal in the range of $280,000, which made him the highest paid non-quarterback in the league. According to 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk, for putting pen to paper Walker received $150,000, his base salary is $110,000 and each game active collects $1,111.11 in the form of a housing payment.

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 during 2016. He had 1,110 yards with six touchdowns on 89 catches in just 12 games and earned the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie award in 2015.

Based on Clemons’ comments about Walker, it seems the Argos will be making efforts to re-sign and extend the playmaker.