Toronto Argonauts sign veteran QB Nick Arbuckle

Photo courtesy: Toronto Argonauts

The Toronto Argonauts have signed veteran quarterback Nick Arbuckle.

The 30-year-old returns to the Double Blue after playing for the Argos in 2021, when he dressed seven games, including four starts, throwing for 1,158 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions prior to a trade to Edmonton late that season.

Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said the team is planning to be without starting quarterback Chad Kelly for the first half of the season. Kelly was suspended by the CFL for a minimum of nine games after the league found “unequivocal evidence” he broke the league’s gender-based violence policy.

Arbuckle will compete for playing time with second-year pivot Cameron Dukes and returnee Bryan Scott. Dinwiddie previously stated that Dukes has a “headstart” on being Toronto’s starter to begin the 2024 season, due to previous playing experience. Arbuckle will bring leadership and a veteran presence to a young Argonauts quarterback room.

The six-foot-one, 213-pound passer started two games for the Ottawa Redblacks last season after being acquired from Edmonton midseason in 2022. The California native dressed for five games and made three starts with Edmonton in 2022 and suited up in 12 games with five starts with Ottawa after the trade.

The Georgia State University product began his CFL career in Calgary in 2018 and started seven games in 2019, throwing for 2,103 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions with a completion percentage north of 73 percent. For his career, Arbuckle has amassed 7,158 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.

The Argos have also released quarterback Hunter Raquet and receiver Savon Scarver.

Raquet last played in 2022 at Colorado State University at Pueblo. He completed 140-of-238 passes (58.8 percent) as a member of the Thunderwolves, throwing for 2,316 yards, 27 touchdowns, and four interceptions in his lone year as the starter.

The six-foot-four, 225-pound signal caller had a circuitous amateur career prior to landing in Pueblo, suiting up for just one game for Jacksonville State in 2021 and completing a single pass. He spent the 2020 season at Cal Poly, going 17-of-32 for 188 yards and two touchdowns with the Mustangs. He also previously redshirted at Fresno State in 2018.

Raquet’s best years came in the JUCO ranks, where he played for Monterey Peninsula College in 2017 and 2019. In 22 games for the Lobos, he connected on 331-of-598 passes (55.3 percent) for 5,013 yards, 52 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, while adding 459 yards and 12 majors on the ground. He was twice named first-team All-Golden Coast League and took home MVP honours in the American Division Championship as a true freshman.

The California native went unselected in the 2023 NFL Draft, earning a mini-camp tryout with the Denver Broncos.

Scarver played five games for the Ottawa Redblacks in 2023 and made seven catches for 69 yards and returned three punts for 18 yards.

The 25-year-old from Las Vegas, Nev. went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft but briefly signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent.

The five-foot-eleven, 175-pound target was twice named first-team All-Mountain West while playing at Utah State and received the Jet Award as the nation’s top returner in 2018. In 56 career games for the Aggies, he returned 107 kickoffs for 2,935 yards and seven touchdowns and made 55 receptions for 757 yards and five scores.