Toronto Argonauts leaving door open for Wilder Jr. to have change of heart

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts are leaving the door open for running back James Wilder Jr. to have a change of heart.

On Wednesday, Wilder announced he was skipping the upcoming season after Toronto refused to re-negotiate his present contract or release him outright to pursue NFL opportunities. The Argos responded Thursday by stating they’ve not spoken to neither Wilder Jr. nor his agent about extending or restructuring his deal.

Wilder Jr., 25, said he earned $56,000 with Toronto last year. He remains under contract with the Argos through 2018 but wouldn’t play to safeguard against a potential “career-ending injury.”

“As per league rules, all players entering the CFL must sign a minimum two-year contract,” the Argos said in a statement. “James Wilder Jr. is currently entering the second year of that entry contract.

“League rules also state that teams, whether in the CFL or NFL, are prohibited from contacting any player currently under contract. We certainly hope he changes his stance and would welcome his return.”

The six-foot-three, 232-pound Wilder Jr. enjoyed a stellar first season with Toronto. After starting the year playing primarily special teams, Wilder Jr. became the Argos’ starting running back and in 10 starts ran for 872 yards (7.2-yard average) and five TDs while adding 51 catches for 533 yards.

That earned Wilder Jr. the CFL’s top rookie award. He capped his season by helping Toronto beat Calgary 27-24 in the Grey Cup game at TD Place in Ottawa.

After helping the Seminoles win an American college football title, Wilder Jr. entered the ‘14 NFL draft as a junior but was bypassed. He spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2014-15) and Buffalo Bills (2016) before signing with Toronto.

Wilder Jr.’s father, James, was a former NFL running back with Tampa Bay (1981-89), Washington (1990) and Detroit (1990). He remains the Buccaneers all-time rushing leader (5,957 yards).

Just Posted

Physicians urge Ottawa to pay another $21B over decade for seniors health care

OTTAWA — Physicians are calling on the federal government to shell out… Continue reading

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Former Mountie who fired Taser at Robert Dziekanski drops appeal of sentence

VANCOUVER — The former RCMP constable who fired a Taser at a… Continue reading

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month