TORONTO -- The Toronto Argonauts will have to wait for Cory Greenwood.
Greenwood agreed to terms on a contract with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs after working out for the team Monday.
The move comes after the six-foot-two, 219-pound Greenwood was selected third overall by the Argos in the CFL draft on May 2.
"I thought Kansas City was out of the picture, they had signed 11 free agents, but they released a linebacker and got hold of my agent and told him they wanted me," Greenwood told The Canadian Press in a phone interview from Kansas City.
"I feel pretty lucky to get this opportunity this late in the free agent game. It's a shot at the NFL and how can you pass it up?"
The Argos were hoping to have Greenwood from the start of training camp next month. The aim was to have the talented linebacker contribute on special teams while learning the nuances of the pro game from former all-star linebacker Mike O'Shea, who is in his first season as Toronto's special-teams coach.
Greenwood is happy to have a spot with the Argos in his back pocket if it doesn't work out in Kansas City.
"I can lay everything out on the line here, and know that I'm going to be playing professional football, it's just a matter of in what country," he said.
Greenwood had spoken with the Chiefs following the NFL draft, but was not invited to mini-camp or signed to a contract by the club.
Now he faces a steep learning curve with the Chiefs, who play a 3-4 defensive scheme (three down linemen with four linebackers).
"I'll have to pay attention, take notes, and ask the vets questions. I'm going to have to be a sponge," Greenwood said.
Now it looks like the Argos will start the season without Greenwood. Even if he is released by the Chiefs, he would not arrive in Toronto until sometime in August at the earliest.
Greenwood would have signed for about $45,000 to $50,000 with Toronto, while the NFL minimum is US$325,000.
Greenwood was one of two first-round picks by the Argos, who are looking to rebuild after posting a league-worst 3-15 record last season. The club took Washington State's Joe Eppele, a hulking six-foot-eight, 309-pound offensive lineman, with the second overall selection.
Toronto went into the draft with the first overall pick and the top selection of the second round (eighth overall). But Toronto dealt those selections to Saskatchewan for the second and fourth picks, then swapped the No. 4 selection for B.C's No. 3 pick.
Saskatchewan then used the first overall pick to take Queen's linebacker Shomari Williams.