June 22nd, 2024

Veteran CFL quarterback Bethel-Thompson announces he’ll play in USFL

By The Canadian Press on February 22, 2023.

Toronto Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (4) throws the ball against the Montreal Alouettes during first half CFL Eastern Final football action in Toronto on Sunday, November 13, 2022. The veteran quarterback announced on social media that he'll play with the USFL's New Orleans Breakers in 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

McLeod Bethel-Thompson has clarified his football future, and it doesn’t include a return to the CFL.

The veteran quarterback announced on social media that he’ll play with the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers in 2023.

Bethel-Thompson became a CFL free agent earlier this month after helping the Toronto Argonauts win the Grey Cup last season.

The 34-year-old American had spent the last five seasons with Toronto (2017-19, 2021-22), winning a Grey Cup his first year with the franchise as the backup to veteran Ricky Ray.

Bethel-Thompson’s decision isn’t overly surprising. Following Toronto’s 24-23 Grey Cup win over Winnipeg last November, he spoke about hard it was to be away from his wife, Chinaka, and their young daughter, Aziza, for long stretches during the CFL season.

Bethel-Thompson added family considerations were going to figure prominently in his off-season considerations.

During the Grey Cup game, Bethel-Thompson suffered a dislocated right thumb late in the fourth quarter.

Backup Chad Kelly – the nephew of former Bills’ star quarterback Jim Kelly – came off the bench to rally Toronto to its stunning victory.

Kelly completed four-of-six passes for 43 yards, but it was his crucial 20-yard run on second-and-15 that set up A.J. Ouellette’s game-winning five-yard rushing touchdown.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2023.

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