Star running back James Wilder Jr. requested and received his release from the Toronto Argos, per sources.
Wilder Jr. played in 14 games for the double blue in 2019, the final year of his contract. The 27-year-old would have been a free agent in February anyways.
However, the word around the CFL is Wilder Jr. could explore XFL options — his former head coach Marc Trestman holds the same position with the Tampa Bay Vipers. That’s Wilder Jr.’s hometown, he played high school football for Henry B. Plant and earned a scholarship from Florida State University. He won a BCS national championship with the Seminoles in 2014.
Prior to coming north of the border, Wilder Jr. spent two seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals practice roster and had a stint with the Buffalo Bills. The same season Wilder Jr. signed with the Argos, Trestman was the bench boss following his time with the Chicago Bears.
The six-foot-three, 232-pounder ran for 872 yards (7.2-yard average) and five touchdowns in 17 games while adding 51 catches for 533 yards bursting on the scene during the 2017 season. He started six regular season games for Toronto in which the Argos went 5-1 and the double blue went 2-0 in the playoffs, including the Grey Cup victory while being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2017.
During three seasons in Toronto, Wilder Jr. played 44 games rushing 361 times for 2,027 yards, nine touchdowns while grabbing 154 passes for 1,487 yards and five majors.