After a rough few years it looks like the Argos are ready to take a step forward, but have they improved enough to contend in the East?
Since the Toronto Argonauts moved to BMO Field in 2016, the team has gone through two general managers and three head coaches, so it’s not surprising to see a very different roster take the field in 2021.
The Argos have struggled to find a replacement for retired quarterback Ricky Ray, but they’re hoping they’ll have a solid duo in Nick Arbuckle and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Arbuckle signed with Toronto to reunite with head coach Ryan Dinwiddie, who was Arbuckle’s quarterback coach in Ottawa. He’ll be competing for the starting job, however, with Bethel-Thompson, who threw a league-high 26 TDs in 2019.
Whoever is under centre has some quality targets in veteran receivers Juwan Brescacin, Eric Rogers, DaVaris Daniels and Ricky Collins Jr., all of whom were signed in free agency. Look for Canadian Dejon Brissett, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, to also make an impact.
The defence was also remodelled. Linebacker Henoc Muamba was signed after winning the 2019 Most Outstanding Canadian Award with the Montreal Alouettes, as was Cam Judge, who was Saskatchewan’s nominee in 2019. They also added defensive end Charleston Hughes, who led the CFL with 16 sacks in 2019 with the Roughriders.
Toronto Argonauts 2021 CFL Schedule
The Argos won’t see an East Division opponent for the first four weeks of the year, but they won’t need to make a trip out West over the final nine weeks of the season. The highlight will be a home-and-home series against the Ti-Cats that starts in Hamilton on Labour Day. The first half of the season will be busy and without a bye week, but they’ll get three byes on the back half of the schedule.
Saturday, August 7 @ Calgary Stampeders
Friday, August 13 @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Saturday, August 21 vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Thursday, August 26 vs. Edmonton Elks
Monday, September 6 @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, September 10 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, September 17 @ Saskatchewan Roughriders
Friday, September 24 vs. Montreal Alouettes
Wednesday, October 6 vs. Ottawa Redblacks
Monday, October 11 @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Friday, October 22 @ Montreal Alouettes
Saturday, October 30 vs. BC Lions
Saturday, November 6 @ Ottawa Redblacks
Friday, November 12 vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Toronto Argonauts 2021 Season Prediction
The Argonauts aren’t exactly expected to break down doors this season with their win total at Sports Interaction set at 6.5. They’re paying at +617 to win the Grey Cup and although they should be better than Ottawa and Montreal, they’ll be in over their heads against Hamilton. Toronto’s defence has definitely been improved and the offence should be able to hold its own, but this team just doesn’t seem like a serious threat.
2021 Projection: 7-7