Toronto Argos trade quarterback Nick Arbuckle to Edmonton Elks

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts have traded quarterback Nick Arbuckle to the Edmonton Elks, per sources.

In exchange for Arbuckle the Argos receive a third round selection in the 2022 CFL Draft which could be upgraded to a second round choice if the 28-year-old re-signs in the Alberta Capital.

The deal comes nine days after general manager Brock Sunderland sent former franchise QB Trevor Harris to the Montreal Alouettes.

Early in training camp this year, Arbuckle had been hampered by a hamstring injury, however he has returned to full health, but recently watched from the sideline as McLeod Bethel-Thompson leads the Boatmen.

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.

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.

During seven games with Toronto, four starts, Arbuckle passed for 1,158 yards, five touchdowns against six interceptions with a 62.7 completion percentage. The California native spent his time in Calgary learning under current Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, who was the Stampeders quarterbacks coach from 2016-2019.

An injury to Stamps starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell in Week 3 of the 2019 CFL season put Arbuckle into the starting role. The six-foot-one, 214-pound signal-caller won four of seven games under centre, completing over 73 percent of his passes for 2,103 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding another four scores on the ground.

Arbuckle spent 2020 with the Ottawa Redblacks after being traded to the nation’s capital from Calgary in January of last year. He was released by Ottawa prior to a $150,000 roster bonus on Monday, February 1 after the two sides reached an impasse in contract renegotiations.

The 2018 Grey Cup champion spent two record-breaking seasons at Georgia State University (2014-2015) where he was a two-time All-Conference quarterback and Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Year in 2015.

Arbuckle left GSU as the school’s career passing leader with 7,651 yards and 51 touchdowns, while also adding eight rushing touchdowns for a school record 59 total touchdowns.

He set conference records for passing after a senior season with 4,368 yards, as well as single-season school records for completions (307), touchdown passes (28), total offence (4,273) and total touchdowns scored (34). Arbuckle is one of only three NCAA Division I quarterbacks in the state of Georgia history with two 3,000 yard passing seasons.

Prior to his time in Georgia the quarterback played two seasons (2012-2013) at Pierce College in California where he threw for nearly 7,000 yards and 73 touchdowns.

The CFL’s 2021 trade deadline is Wednesday, October 27 at 5 p.m. ET.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.