On Sunday morning, the Toronto Argonauts announced a series of cuts after their preseason game in Ottawa. Among those players cut, was veteran quarterback Antonio Pipkin.
Pipkin is no stranger to the Canadian Football League at this point, having already spent four seasons in the league dating back to 2017. The now 26-year-old started his career in Montreal with the Alouettes, and after a couple of games worth of work in 2018, Pipkin earned the starting job for the Als in 2019.
In training camp in 2019, Pipkin beat Vernon Adams Jr. and Matthew Shiltz for the starting job. In the first game of the season against the Edmonton Elks, Pipkin was playing well, completing seven of his 17 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he was injured during the game, and missed a considerable amount of time. During that time, Adams stepped up and stole the starting job, leaving Pipkin’s future up in the air.
Ahead of the 2021 season, Pipkin signed with the Toronto Argonauts, but sat behind both McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Nick Arbuckle, before eventually being elevated to the backup quarterback after a trade with Edmonton sent Arbuckle away. His playing time was limited, as Pipkin threw just 26 passes, completing half of them for 158 yards and an interception.
In the Argos preseason game, Pipkin looked good, completing seven of his nine passes for 60 yards and an interception on a ball that was tipped up into the air by Redblacks defensive back, Abdul Kanneh. His experience, combined with his play in the preseason game, leaves people wondering why the Argos cut Pipkin. Even if they do think Chad Kelly is the future, it seems like a risky option. Even Pipkin was left wondering why after having the news broken to him.
With everything Pipkin has done, and could still do at his young age, it shouldn’t take long for him to find work. Looking around the league, there aren’t too many teams who could be looking to upgrade their backup quarterback situation, but there is one team that immediately comes to mind; the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Bombers are holding a competition between Dru Brown and Dakota Prukop to win the backup spot, but neither has inspired much confidence so far. Brown, for as impressive as he was in his preseason action this week, couldn’t get much of anything done during his regular-season game action last season. For Prukop, although many pundits thought the move to bring him in during the offseason was great, failed to excite anyone in his first preseason game. Prukop completed just five of his 14 passes and threw two interceptions.
As the Bombers know firsthand, injuries can happen to quarterbacks. Remember back to 2019 when Matt Nichols went down, and the Bombers needed someone to step up. Well, Zach Collaros did just that, and he won them a Grey Cup. Now, with Collaros as the starter, what happens if there is another injury? Do they trust Brown or Prukop to pick up where Collaros, the MOP from 2021, left off?
Realistically, it couldn’t hurt for the Bombers to bring Pipkin in for a look. The downside would be it doesn’t work out, but it’s not like this would cost Winnipeg much of anything. The upside, however, is you bring in an experienced player who has before shown starting potential. In the right situation, Pipkin has the tools to once again become a starter, and although the Bombers don’t need that right now, Collaros won’t be around forever.
For a team in search of a good backup option, Pipkin makes sense in a lot of ways for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
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