Pending free agent Canadian DB Royce Metchie expected to sign with Toronto Argonauts

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The Toronto Argonauts are expected to sign pending free agent Canadian defensive back Royce Metchie, per source, barring an unforeseen change of circumstances.

The 25-year-old has spent the last three seasons as a member of the Calgary Stampeders and won the starting job at safety in 2019 in his second CFL season. He made 48 defensive tackles, seven special teams tackles, and three interceptions that year in what remains his best CFL campaign.

The Guelph product suffered a bicep injury on Sept. 17, 2021 in a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and underwent season-ending surgery. He recorded 31 tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble in seven games this past season.

Metchie was a third-round pick in the 2018 CFL Draft and has grown into one of the league’s best safeties. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria and is the older brother to Alabama receiver and future NFL draft pick John Metchie III.

The Argos started veteran American defensive back Crezdon Butler at safety in 2021, which means acquiring Metchie could be an indication that Toronto plans to change the ratio at safety in 2022 by starting a Canadian.

CFL free agency doesn’t open until Tuesday, Feb. 8 but teams have been permitted to recruit pending free agents since the negotiation window opened on Sunday, Jan. 30.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.