Toronto Argos quarterback Nick Arbuckle subject of trade discussions

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

Quarterback Nick Arbuckle has been the subject of recent trade discussions, per sources.

At least one team has called the Toronto Argonauts about the 28-year-old QB, while the Boatmen have checked in with multiple clubs to gauge interest with other franchises.

Since early in training camp, Arbuckle has been hampered by a hamstring injury, however he dressed in the Argos final game of Week 10 in Hamilton as the backup pivot. He has returned to full health, but watched from the sideline as McLeod Bethel-Thompson led a fourth quarter comeback and Boris Bede hit a 51-yard walk-off field goal for the win.

That finish helped Bethel-Thompson improve to 4-1 as a starter so far in 2021 compared to Arbuckle’s 2-2 win-loss mark. He’s beaten the Blue Bombers and Tiger-Cats once each, though he lost to the Ticats and Roughriders in Saskatchewan. It’s been an up and down year for Arbuckle, his first in double blue.

He signed a one-year contract in February with more than half of his compensation paid upfront in the form of a $150,000 signing bonus. Also included in his deal was a base salary of $109,000, which works out to approximately $6,055 per game, weekly housing payments of $666.67 and a $300 bonus every time he plays 51 percent of the offensive plays in a game.

The financial commitment is a relative bargain when you consider the time Arbuckle has been in the league and the lack of experienced signal-callers that could be available for a team such as Montreal. The Alouettes placed Vernon Adams Jr. on the six-game injured list with a broken bone in his left shoulder after a Week 10 Thanksgiving win against Ottawa.

Toronto doesn’t have to do anything, but all indications are Arbuckle could be had for the right price, especially considering he has an expiring contract. One of the main reasons the Argos are comfortable at least entertaining offers is the confidence head coach Ryan Dinwiddie has in Antonio Pipkin. He’s earned public praise from Dinwiddie and seen action in one game.

Meanwhile, Arbuckle has intriguing upside and ability, evidenced by his performance in beating Winnipeg during Week 3. He completed 23-of-32 passes (71.9 percent) for 310 yards and one touchdown with another on the ground in a 30-23 win. That’s the only loss the defending Grey Cup champion Bombers have suffered this season to date.

The Argos are open to dealing from a position of strength but aren’t going to give away an asset like Arbuckle to a rival. Toronto is currently first in the East Division at 6-3, two games ahead of the Als and Tiger-Cats with five left to play.

During seven games with Toronto, four starts, Arbuckle has 1,158 passing yards, six touchdowns against five interceptions with a 62.7 completion percentage.