Last year’s starting QB for the Argos, McLeod Bethel-Thompson announced via social media that he will be leaving the CFL to the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in 2023. Bethel-Thompson became a free agent earlier this month after being an integral part of the Argo’s ’22 Grey Cup win.
The Argonauts have not yet commented on the news but are expected to come out with a formal announcement in the next couple days. The change wasn’t very surprising after Bethel-Thompson revealed he was thinking about spending more time with his family this year.
The 6’4, 220-pound Bethel-Thompson threw for a career-high 4,731 passing yards last season which included 23 touchdowns and 15 picks. He was the starting QB that led Toronto (11-7) to top spot in the East Division for a second straight year.
He was also a key part of the team in the postseason, going 19-of-27 for 299 yards and two TDs in the Argos’ 34-27 conference final win over the Montreal Alouettes and then 15-of-28 passing for 203 yards in the Grey Cup game, before suffering a dislocated right thumb late in the fourth quarter.
The 34-year-old QB spent his last five seasons with Toronto, winning two Grey Cups, one in his first year with the franchise as the backup to veteran Ricky Ray. His CFL career stats tally him at 74 career regular-season games, 1,125 completions,13,261 yards, 70 touchdowns and 49 interceptions.
What does this mean for the Argos?
With Bethel-Thompson gone, the Argos will likely have last year’s Grey Cup hero Chad Kelly at starting QB. There shouldn’t be too much competition for the starting spot, with only Ben Holmes currently on the roster for the QB position.
While this will be a big blow for the Argos, Kelly should gain valuable experience as he heads into the franchise quarterback status. Kelly only had 45 pass attempts last year which led to 26 completions, including two touchdowns and three interceptions. He was better at running the ball, averaging 5.5 yards/carry and scoring 6 touchdowns on 25 attempts.
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