Trade and sign: Argos send Canadian LB Cameron Judge to Stampeders for national DB Royce Metchie

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders have agreed to a trade with Canadian linebacker Cameron Judge going to Cowtown in exchange for national defensive back Royce Metchie, per sources.

Both Judge and Metchie were scheduled to become free agents on Tuesday, February 8.

Judge signed with the Argos last February and played nine games with the Double Blue during the shortened 2021 season, recording 13 tackles and one special teams stop. In the CFL, Judge is a rare defender who can play any linebacker position, weak-side, middle or strong-side.

The 27-year-old recorded a single-season career-high 61 tackles, 11 special teams stops, five sacks, two interceptions, and one forced fumble in 2019 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Canadian for his efforts with the Green and White.

In December 2019, Judge worked out for the Los Angeles Chargers and did the same for the Jacksonville Jaguars the following January. He was not offered a contract by either team and chose to return to Saskatchewan on a one-year deal for 2020. When the CFL season was cancelled, he opted out of his contract to pursue NFL opportunities.

Judge was in Sin City on Thursday, February 11, 2021 and impressed Las Vegas Raiders football executives, including then-general manager Mike Mayock. He was a little light checking in at six-foot-two and 217 pounds. If he can produce at a high level, another NFL shot should come his way.

Judge showed he could lay the gavel down in 2018 when he made 41 tackles, two sacks and forced one fumble in 18 games. He turned the promise he showed as a prospect when Saskatchewan selected Judge in the first round, second overall during the 2017 CFL Draft into production.

The versatile defender has developed into a ratio-changer, looking every bit the player scouts envisioned while watching him in the NCAA at University of California, Los Angeles with the Bruins. He played in 47 games for UCLA, recording 46 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, two passes defended, one forced fumble and one interception while serving as a special teams captain.

At UCLA’s pro day, Judge measured six-foot-one and weighed 220 pounds, running a 4.50 40-yard dash, 6.69 three-cone, while recording a 10-foot, one-inch broad jump, 36.5-inch vertical leap and 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. He has a complete package of speed, agility, explosiveness, power, and playmaking ability.

Judge earned an increased role with the Bruins each passing season at UCLA, starting games at linebacker in his junior and senior seasons and being named the weight room captain, too. The Houston Texans invited Judge to rookie mini-camp in May 2017, but he did not receive a contract offer.

Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Metchie has spent the last three seasons as a member of the Stamps 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 pro campaign.

The University of 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 University of Alabama product and future NFL Draft pick, receiver John Metchie III.

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