The Patriots' signing of former Southern Cal and Toronto Argonaut defensive lineman Armond Armstead was dissected thoroughly over the last week. Now comes news that the Patriots have an agreement with another CFL player, Winnipeg Blue Bomber Jason Vega (formerly of Northeastern).
Armstead and Vega are different cases -- one almost assured to make the roster (Armstead) and one a longer shot to do so (Vega). But the link between them is that they both played in the CFL in chasing their NFL dreams, and showed scouts enough to get their chance.
Along these lines, one comment from Argonauts general manager Jim Barker from his ESPNBoston.com interview came to mind.
"We’re more of a space game. ... There are some different skill sets, but in certain positions and areas there is obviously carry-over," Barker said.
Pass-rusher is one of them, and that's what Armstead and Vega seem to do best.
So while the CFL and NFL are different games, one link between the two is that more of the NFL is being played in space than ever before (e.g., second half of AFC Championship Game when Ravens spread it out against the Patriots). So it makes sense that scouts looking for pass-rushers are taking a closer look at the CFL.
In Armstead's case, there was a medical issue that led him to the CFL before getting his NFL chance. In Vega's case, it was more performance-related.
Now they'll both be vying for a spot with the Patriots, as the link between the CFL and NFL -- and in this case, the Patriots -- grows a bit stronger.