The Arland Bruce saga appears is over, as the Toronto Argonauts have shipped the disgruntled receiver to their cross-province rivals the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
In return Toronto will receive a third-round pick in the 2010 CFL Canadian Draft as well as a conditional pick in the 2011 draft and the rights to non-import defensive end Corey Mace. Mace, who has spent the past two seasons with the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. The Tiger-Cats had been unable to sign the Port Moody, B.C. native after acquiring his rights from the Blue Bombers in exchange for Zeke Moreno.
The condition of the pick is that if Bruce remains on the Tiger-Cats roster in 2010, the Argonauts will receive Hamilton's best third-round pick in the 2011 draft.
The Tiger-Cats are excited to get a big-play receiver of Bruce's talent in their lineup.
"We're thrilled to add an exceptionally talented player like Arland Bruce III to our roster," Ticats general manager Bob O'Billovich said in a statement. "He's a proven veteran who will fit in well with our young receiving corps."
O'Billovich stated that he did not believe that Bruce would have difficulty in his transition to Hamilton and does not forsee any problems with the controversial receiver.
"We are certain that in the environment (head coach) Marcel Bellefeuille has created around our team this season, Arland will be a respected teammate in our locker room and a valuable member of our community."
For the Argonauts, the trade presented a chance to put what has been a difficult beginning to the season behind them.
"We would like to thank Arland for his contributions on the field over the years and wish him well," Argonauts General Manager VP, Football Operations Adam Rita said in a statement. "We believe we received the best value we could get for Arland given the circumstances. We believe strongly in the direction in which our organization is headed."
Bruce joined the Argonauts in 2004, signing as a free-agent after a brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. He was a big piece of the Argos Grey Cup winning team in 2004. During his eight-year CFL career, Bruce has been named an East Division All-Star three times (2005, 2006, 2008) and was named a CFL All-Star following the 2006 season. In 112 career games, Bruce has hauled in 442 receptions for 6,932 yards and 59 touchdowns.
After a solid season last year the 31-year old has been criticized by Argonaut's first year head coach Bart Andrus for being "unprofessional" and "a bad teammate."
The transaction ends what has been a very dramatic opening to the season for Bruce who squabbled publicly with Andrus and quarterback Kerry Joseph. Bruce has also been fined by the team four times for missing team meetings and losing his playbook. In addition the CFL fined Bruce for his bizarre post-touchdown "tribute" to Michael Jackson during a Week 1 victory over the Ticats.
The soap opera surrounding Bruce should make it a very interesting encounter on September 7th when the Tiger-Cats host the Argonauts in the Labour Day classic.