After spending over a decade with the Toronto Argonauts as one of the CFL’s best talent evaluators in Canada and abroad, assistant general manager Vince Magri is headed to the NFL, joining the Buffalo Bills pro scouting department.

It’s a tremendous loss for Toronto’s football operations department, which already lost assistant director of US scouting Alex Russell to rival Ottawa earlier this offseason. Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons remains the team’s general manager, with assistant John Murphy in a prominent role, but Magri and Russell will be a challenging tandem to replace in the team’s brain trust.

Magri, a former offensive lineman, climbed the front office ladder in his decade-plus with the Argos and was elevated to the position of Assistant General Manager in 2022.

Working in all aspects of player personnel, Magri’s tremendous success in scouting fellow Canadian players has paid off for the Argonauts. In the 2021 season, 10 players selected by the Argos in the 2020 and 2021 drafts made their CFL debut, a ridiculously high and unprecedented number.

Magri’s stellar work with Toronto also stood out because of his adept scouting of American imports. The Argos have unearthed multiple all-star players south of the border from all playing leagues. Whether it’s been CFL Offensive Lineman of the Year Dejon Allen, defensive lineman Shawn Oakman (XFL), Global punter Josh Haggerty or former FCF player and recently-drafted New York Jet defensive back Qwan’tez Stiggers. Magri left no stone unturned in helping to build a yearly championship contender and a 16-2 Argonauts squad that tied the record for most wins in a regular season.

The 34-year-old Magri joined the Argos in 2013 as their video coordinator and, within a year, was promoted to director of Canadian scouting, giving him a dual portfolio. Before getting the most recent promotion, he was named scouting director in 2021. Magri won two Grey Cup rings with the Argos in 2017 and 2022. After his playing days and before joining Double Blue, the McMaster grad paid his dues, assuming several roles, including as an assistant coach in Canada.

Beyond the Boatmen, the departure of Magri to the NFL is a significant loss to the CFL as a native son. But the best-kept secret in Canada wouldn’t stay a secret for long in football circles. His elevation to an NFL position proves that his work didn’t go unnoticed.

You can find Mike Mitchell on X @ByMikeMitchell.

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