Tuesday Morning QB (Off-Season Outlook)

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The CFL season has come to a close and for another year the east division sits on top as Grey Cup Champions.

Toronto took home their 17th title against the Calgary Stampeders in a truly Canadian game in the middle of a snowstorm in the nation’s capital.

It was one of the greatest single-season turnarounds in CFL history going from the bottom of the barrel to champions and one of the best turnarounds in Grey Cup history after only taking the lead in the fourth quarter.

The Argonauts are champions for another year and they will celebrate like champions but they will also have to answer one massive question in the off-season.

It won’t be unique to the Argonauts as the league that is led by quarterbacks is going into an off-season where quarterbacks are going to be the biggest story.

For the Argos, the story will surround their two-time Grey Cup champion and a four-time winner in total, Ricky Ray.

Last year Ray was not entirely convinced that he wanted to return to the league and play another season.

His last few years had been full of injury issues and very little success when he was able to play.

When Marc Trestman was named as the coach though Ray decided to come back and Trestman threw his support right behind the veteran QB.

It turned out great for everyone as Ray put together one of his greatest seasons ever and ended it with his fourth Grey Cup win.

Now the debate begins as Ray is nearing retirement and some believe he will take the same route as Henry Burris a year ago, win the Cup and walk away.

It is something that all players dream about, going out on top on your own terms and not being forced to walk away from the game before winning another championship.

There really isn’t a lot more for Ray to do in the league as he is assured a spot in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

Then again he did just experience one of the best seasons in his career under Trestman and some wonder if that will encourage to come back for another year.

That decision is going to change the face of the Argonauts as there is no real great successor for Ray in Toronto leaving questions about who might be able to take over.

Toronto won’t be the only team with quarterback questions though as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will need to make a franchise-altering decision as well.

With Zach Collaros sitting on the sidelines for most of the year Jeremiah Masoli looked like their quarterback of the future.

Masoli is a free agent though and could decide to go to a new team, especially if he believes that the starting role will go to Collaros.

If the starting role goes to Masoli though, Collaros may very well ask to be moved so that he can try getting a starting role somewhere else.

There are a few teams that are looking for that quarterback that can change their situation and there will be interest.

Those spots may not be entirely filled with CFL free agents though as two big NFL names have been circulating for months.football-sidebar

Johnny Manziel is the biggest as he seemed ready to enter the CFL until the league put an end to that denying him the ability to sign a contract with the league.

That restriction lifts this off-season though and he seems interested in making his way north and although the Tiger-Cats have his rights they may very well trade those rights to the likes of Montreal.

The Alouettes have been looking for a quarterback for years now and anyone is an option as they already reached out to the other big NFL name, Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has apparently not responded to their calls but this off-season could bring a lot of options for the Alouettes.

In Regina, things are going to be very interesting under centre as Brandon Bridge emerged as a potentially great CFL quarterback.

He, of course, needs a lot more experience and to work on his decision-making but when he did come in he provided something completely different for the team.

Bridge seems to be the future for the position in Saskatchewan but Kevin Glenn has the experience and is under contract for another year.

Chris Jones didn’t seem to mind using all three of his quarterbacks at the end of the season but this off-season a decision needs to be made.

Wil they go with their young future or the veteran? Or will they simply stick to the same plan that helped them win and hope it works again?

That decision could have implications for the future of a team that seemed to just find their stride at the end of the season.

Quarterbacks are always the centre of attention in the CFL but this year there are more questions at the position than ever before.

Decisions made during this winter will have lasting effects on teams as the pursuit of the next Grey Cup has already begun.

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