Argos renegotiate with veteran LB Bear Woods as Henoc Muamba rumours begin to swirl

The Toronto Argonauts have restructured the contract of American linebacker Bear Woods, as Henoc Muamba rumours begin to swirl.

The 34-year old Woods will be playing his fourth season in Double Blue after coming to Toronto in 2017 via free agency from Montreal. The seven-year CFL veteran re-joined the Argos in late July 2019, playing in three games while recording at least seven tackles in each contest, including 10 in a win vs Ottawa in Week 13. The Troy University product has racked up 144 tackles and three sacks in 24 games in his Toronto career.

Woods began his CFL career in Montreal (2013-2016) where he would go on to earn two CFL All-Star nods (2014, 2016) and the East nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 2016 after recording the sixth-most tackles in a season in CFL history with 126. The 2017 Grey Cup champion now has 376 defensive tackles, 15 sacks, three interceptions and six forced fumbles in 64 games for his career.

“Bear is the ultimate teammate with a work ethic that is unmatched,” said Argos Linebackers coach Kevin Eiben. “He is as professional as they come and his knowledge of the game mixed with his preparedness and competitiveness is an incredible resource for our younger guys to learn from. On top of all that, Bear is one of the best tacklers I have ever been around, we’re lucky to have him.”

The Boatmen have been big spenders this offseason and renegotiating with Woods could give them some added flexibility come cutdown day, but the timing of this announcement is particularly intriguing.

3Down’s own Justin Dunk reported early Friday that the Argos were making a strong push to acquire top free agent linebacker Henoc Muamba. The addition of the reigning Most Outstanding Canadian would prompt a ratio switch at the middle linebacker position and might have left Woods the odd man out.

Now Woods is taking a pay cut to stick around and only time will tell if it will be to back up Muamba.