TORONTO – Coming off of an amazing performance in 2022 where he helped lead the Toronto Argonauts to a Grey Cup Championship, A.J. Ouellette had several options to continue his professional football career as a free agent.
But his love for Toronto fans and wearing the Double Blue led to him re-signing with the Argonauts for a one-year contract.
“I really love the fans and I mean that sincerely,” said Ouellette. “That is what ultimately led me to re-sign with them (Toronto). That is a professional fan base that respects my style of play. They enjoyed coming to watch and reach out to me. That was the biggest thing, the fan base.”
Another factor in Ouellette’s decision was the fact that the entire coaching staff will return.
“Also, the coaches we had last year will be back again,” he said. “I love the coaches and that was a huge factor as well.”
A.J. was an Eastern Division All-Star selection last season after accumulating over 850 yards out of the backfield – the majority coming after Canadian legend Andrew Harris went down due to an injury.
Ouellette is extremely competitive – passionate about being a leader and even though him and Harris play the same position on the field they became very close friends.
And when Harris decided to return to Toronto as well, Ouellette was excited.
“Having Andrew Harris back will improve our offense because last year he was learning the system before he got hurt,” Ouellette said. “I love that guy. When you have another back like him, it helps me stay healthy because it’s not all about me.”
When it was announced that Ouellette re-signed with Toronto, Argonaut fans went crazy on social media in praise of the decision. Here are a few comments from Argonaut fans.
“That guy is a beast. They need him for any chance of a repeat.” – Matt Nicholls
“I just LOVE him! Fantastic news!!” – Joanne Trabucco-Lightheart
“Yay!! So happy he will be back this season. He’s a beast!” – Diane Brandse
“You all haven’t seen anything yet, he’s just getting started! OU OH YEAH! So excited for you AJ!” – Melissa Brashears
“I’m happy, it just made my day. I’m glad AJ is back” – Harvey Musselman
“Best news of the day! Woo-hoo Double Blue!!” – Karen Wood
“GREAT The all round best signing.” – John W Adams
“This is a no-brainer best player in the league to me.” – John Poirier
“Hands down the most exciting re-signing this year!” – Gillian Prieur
Since returning home to Covington, Ohio after winning the Grey Cup in November, Ouellette has been working extremely hard in preparation for any opportunities that presented itself for 2023. Now, he is fully focused on the upcoming season as a member of the Toronto Argonauts.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “As a team, we have to pick up where we left off and continue to get better and better. Offensively, we have so many weapons and I think we can even be better this year. I can’t wait.”
And Argonaut fans can’t wait either, especially after learning of Ouellette’s re-signing.