TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have sent disgruntled slotback Arland Bruce III to Hamilton, less than a week after leaving him behind for a road game for disciplinary reasons.
In return, the Ticats sent Toronto the rights to defensive lineman Corey Mace, a third-round pick next year as well as a conditional pick in the 2011 draft, according to the two teams.
Mace, a 23-year-old native of Port Moody, B.C., spent the past two seasons with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills but had been unable to agree to terms with Hamilton.
“We believe we received the best value we could get for Arland given the circumstances,” Toronto general manager Adam Rita said in a statement Wednesday.
“It was an easy trade for Hamilton, they got a heck of a deal,” Rita added in an interview with The Fan 590 radio station.
Hamilton, meanwhile, was quick to suggest that Bruce will not be a problem in Steeltown.
“He’s a proven veteran who will fit in well with our young receiving corps,” GM Bob O’Billovich said. “We are certain that in the environment (head coach) Marcel Bellefeuille has created around our team this season, Arland will be a respected teammate in our locker-room and a valuable member of our community.”
Toronto has reportedly already agreed to terms with Mace, which would make sense given the money the club saved by dealing Bruce. According to a source, Bruce is scheduled to make $180,000 this season, of which $35,000 was paid up front.
With Bruce having already received four game cheques, Toronto was left with about $113,000 to play with in an attempt to sign Mace, who reportedly was looking for somewhere around $95,000 during negotiations with the Ticats.
Rita, however, said Wednesday morning that the team hadn’t discussed terms with Mace yet.
Bruce, 31, has surpassed the 1,200-yard receiving mark with Toronto three of the past four years but had been fined four times by the club this season for missing meetings and misplacing his playbook.
Argos head coach Bart Andrus left Bruce at home for last week’s 19-5 win in Winnipeg, prompting the receiver to call out both Andrus and Argos quarterback Kerry Joseph publicly.
Bruce fully expected to rejoin his teammates Tuesday when Toronto began its preparations for Saturday’s rematch with Winnipeg, but was told by Argos officials to stay away while the club decided his future.