Argos release 19 as part of final roster cuts, including QB Ben Holmes

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

The Toronto Argonauts have released 19 players ahead of the CFL’s roster deadline, including quarterback Ben Holmes.

Holmes joined the Argos in August of 2022 following a brief stint with the Edmonton Elks, dressing for one game as a backup without recording a statistic. He was viewed as the likeliest candidate to backup Chad Kelly this season but struggled in preseason action, completing five of 16 passes for 69 yards and three interceptions.

The 27-year-old passed for nearly 6,000 yards and 62 touchdowns over three years at Tarleton State (2017-19) and rushed for 560 yards.

Toronto is now expected to dress newcomer Bryan Scott as their backup, with Cameron Dukes as the third-stringer.

In addition to Holmes, the team parted ways with American defensive linemen Keyshawn James, Damontre Moore, Casey Williams, Tyree Johnson, and Tyler Williams; defensive backs Keith Washington and Caleb Holden; receivers Lonnie Moore and Quian Williams; and offensive lineman Ralph Singleton. Canadian receivers Richard Burton and Savaughn Magnaye-Jones; fullbacks Chase Arseneau and Mario Villamizar; linebacker Enoch Penney-Laryea, defensive lineman Michael Pezzuto, and defensive back Cody Hale were also released, as well as Global defensive lineman Simeon Okonta-Wariso.

The Argos also placed American receiver RaJae’ Johnson on the suspended list along with four 2023 CFL Draft picks in linebackers Brendan Murphy and Ife Onyemenam, and offensive linemen Edouard Paradis and Anthony Vandal. Canadian offensive lineman Braydon Noll, who was selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2022 Draft, has been re-signed after being released earlier in camp.

Toronto has a bye week to start the season, with their home opener scheduled for Sunday, June 18 at BMO Field against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.