Former Alabama quarterback Blake Sims finds himself in a tough situation. The National Football League passed on him, and he was released from the Toronto Argonauts Sunday.
Sims defied all odds last season as Alabama’s starting quarterback. He became the program’s single season passing holder with 3,847 yards. Sims totaled 35 touchdowns from scrimmage and connected on 64.5 percent of his attempts. His leadership carried Alabama to a Southeastern Conference and an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
The Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins both looked at Sims as an undrafted rookie free agent, but neither of the two chose to sign him. He saw an opportunity in the Canadian Football League, and the Toronto Argonauts signed him to a three-year deal on May 27, 2015.
In his release from the team, Toronto’s head coach Scott Milanovich said Sims was “behind the eight ball” because he missed the team’s mini-camp and rookie camp sessions. Milanovich added that Sims would have had to adjust to the CFL game on the fly in training camp.
Toronto still has four quarterbacks on its roster, including Ricky Ray. Ray, 35, is a three-time Grey Cup Champion (2003, 2005, 2012) and three-time CFL All-Star (2006, 2013, 2014).
Arena Football possibly could be a move for Sims. Former Alabama players Jeremy Shelley and Alfred McCullough are both in the league. Kurt Warner led the Iowa Barnstormers to two Arena Bowl appearances (1996, 1997), and was enshrined in the Arena Bowl Hall of Fame in 2011, prior to becoming a Super Bowl winning quarterback in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams.
A return to Tuscaloosa could also be in the making for Sims. Crimson Tide fans enjoyed what he did last season, and he could very well find a spot as a graduate assistant on head coach Nick Saban’s staff. Rob Ezell, a former walk-on, played at Alabama from 2007-10.
He didn’t see much action as a wide receiver, but he knew the ends and outs of the job. Ezell was a part of Alabama’s 2009 SEC and national championship team. His impression of Saban won fans over, and Ezell currently is a graduate assistant. It’s a time and a place for everything. Sims has a solid work ethic and exceptional character. His time will come, but for now patience is needed.
Stephen M. Smith is a staff writer and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.