Green in Green and Gold colours makes plenty of sense


S.J. Green is being linked to the Green and Gold, a rumoured alliance that may come true by looking at the connections.

For starters, Edmonton’s new head coach is Scott Milanovich, who is intimately aware of Green’s talents from their days with the Montreal Alouettes.

There’s talk circulating in three-down football that former Als GM and Argos GM Jim Popp is quietly providing scouting inputs in matters involving player personnel.

Already this off-season, the Eskimos have signed nine players who suited up for the Argos last season.

When Milanovich, who led the Argos to a Grey Cup in 2012, left Toronto for the NFL prior to the 2017, the team’s incoming regime featured Popp as general manager.

Popp was dismissed last season following an Argos loss in Vancouver, a defeat that officially eliminated the Argos from the post-season.

Popp and Green have a very strong relationship.

It was green, as in money, that partially led to the Argos’ decision in granting Green his release.

He reunited with head coach Marc Trestman with Tampa in the XFL.

With the first-year league announcing last week that it had canceled its season, players were eligible to sign with any team by as early as Monday morning.

Green is a three-time Grey Cup champion who is coming off a 1,000-yard receiving season.

The Argos lauded Green and his family prior to a home game at BMO Field, a gesture Green deeply appreciated.

However, there was a sense around the Argos that a parting of the ways was inevitable, which is why no one should have been surprised when the veteran and the franchise mutually agreed to go their separate ways.

Turns out all five starting receivers from last year’s unit have moved on with Derel Walker unsigned.

Armanti Edwards, who followed Green to the XFL, is a free agent.

If Green does hook up with Milanovich out West, the transition should be easy.
Milanovich was a pupil of Trestman’s offence who incorporated his own philosophy when Milanovich was hired by then-Argos GM Jim Barker.

The comfort and familiarity with Popp provides an added layer to the conjecture of Green joining the Green and Gold.

When a contract needed to get ironed out, Green represented himself in talks with Popp.

For those who have lost count of CFL free agency, Brandon Burks, Alex Charette, Anthony Covington, Jermaine Gabriel, Caleb Ham, Jonathon Mincy, Jimmy Ralph, Rodney Smith and Trumaine Washington have joined the Eskimos this off-season.

All nine players suited up for the Argos in 2019.

An additional seven players, Alexandre Dupuis, Kevin Elliott, Trevor Harris, Logan Kilgore, Kenny Shaw, SirVincent Rogers and Justin Tuggle each began their CFL careers in Toronto.

Milanovich coached Harris, Kilgore, Elliott, Shaw and Rogers.

If Green surfaces out West, a whopping total of 17 players with connections to the Argos will be on Edmonton’s roster.

Popp traded for Green just prior to the start of the 2017 season.

Green was coming off a devastating knee injury, but he responded by having a stellar season in Toronto with quarterback Ricky Ray at the helm.

JETS-SETTER

Greg Van Roten announced on his Twitter account how he was joining his hometown New York Jets.

Van Roten played for Milanovich on an Argos offensive line featuring Jeff Keeping, Chris Van Zeyl and Tyler Holmes.

Once his two-year deal expired, it was clear that Van Roten would hook up with an NFL team.

He signed with Jacksonville previously, where Milanovich had been hired as its quarterback coach.

Van Roten’s final game in three-down football came during a playoff loss in Hamilton during the Eastern semifinal.

Incredibly, only 11 players who were Van Roten’s teammates in Toronto are currently on a CFL roster.

And only one remains with the Argos, Natey Adjei, who left in free agency following the 2015 season only to return this off-season in free agency.

Matt Black retired and will begin his second season in Toronto’s front office.

KEEPING UP WITH JONES

Suddenly, the T.J. Jones saga is no longer a front-burner item given the events of the past few weeks.

The NFL receiver/returner has a deal in place to play in Toronto and be reunited with cousin and former Notre Dame teammate DaVaris Daniels.

The issue involves the language in the CFL’s collective bargaining agreement, which effectively limits Jones’ salary and term along the lines of a Canadian rookie.

Jones has a full NFL pension and is apparently willing to wait this out.

However, the ongoing pandemic has forced the CFL to deal with more pressing issues after it cancelled all football-related activities, which included this week’s main combine in Toronto and any free-agent camps.

No word or decision on whether the start of team training camps set for May will be affected.

The fact the league and its players’ union has yet to come to some sort of agreement on the Jones matter is a joke, but in the context of current health and safety events it has become insignificant.

Word is the deal to sign Jones and Daniels involved a deal roughly in the $200,000 range for each player.

In time, Jones may decide he’s grown tired of the waiting and sign with an NFL team. If that were to play out, who is to say the Argos don’t reach out to Walker?

Popp, who couldn’t convince Bo Levi Mitchell to leave Calgary, made Walker the highest-paid non-QB in the CFL last season.



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