Weighing the Options
Emmanuel “Manny” Arcenaux is on the verge of a CFL comeback. After toiling away on NFL practice rosters for the past two years, the former BC Lions wideout will seemingly sign with either the Lions or the Toronto Argonauts.
Arcenaux played for the Lions in 2009 and 2010, totalling 130 receptions for 1,972 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He was the Lions’ most productive receiver not named Geroy Simon over that span.
As with any marquee free agent, this deal will come with its fair share of pros and cons and hopefully Lions GM Wally Buono is willing to take the risk.
- He’s only 25 years old. His best football came when he was even younger so he should only get better with age.
- He knows the system, the coaching staff, and has great chemistry with QB Travis Lulay.
- He has great skills: great speed, hands, and vision. Effective on screens and crossing routes and is a guaranteed vertical threat.
- Clutch ability: has the ability to make big catches at big moments
- He’s coming in relatively cold. He hasn’t had regular playing time in two years aside from practice roster and preseason.
- History has shown players coming back from the NFL, such as Andy Fantuz, take time to rediscover their game. So he may not be great right away.
- He’s also a salary cap concern. Arcenaux reportedly wants to become the highest paid CFL receiver and he may not fit the Lions’ budget. Even after trading Geroy Simon, the Lions are pretty close to the cap at the moment
- With a set roster approaching training camp, the Lions would have to cut a roster player to make room, likely a fellow import receiver such as Courtney Taylor, Justin Harper, Nick Moore, or Ernest Jackson.
Personally, I say go for it. The opportunity to get a young, bonafide CFL receiver of Arcenaux’s calibre doesn’t come around often.
It would be unfortunate to lose one of our young receivers in the process, but whoever would hypothetically be released, Arcenaux is an instant upgrade over any one of them.
So to Lions’ GM Wally Buono, throw as much money Arcenaux’s way as you can.
If he chooses Toronto. there’s nothing you can do. But if he chooses BC, it could be one of your biggest moves of the year.
And he should be well worth the risk.