‘I definitely knew right after Grey Cup what was up’: Brandon Banks saw writing on the wall in Hamilton

It was not long after the Tiger-Cats lost the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton that Brandon Banks could see his time in black and gold was coming to an end.

Banks spent all eight seasons of his CFL career to date with the Ticats, prior to signing with the rival Toronto Argonauts during free agency. The 34-year-old playmaker did not want to get into the details of what led to his time ending in the Steel City.

“I just prefer not to discuss that part. I don’t think it came down to money, they were just trying to go younger and they got some good, young players there and I agree with them — the cheaper the better,” Banks said.

“To be honest, I don’t want to discuss what really happened, but you could tell. I definitely knew right after Grey Cup what was up. I still talk to coach, I text coach O during the Super Bowl, there’s no hard feelings.”

Even though it looked different on his face, the man known as Speedy B did not feel any bitterness with the way his time with the Tiger-Cats ended. Part of the reason why was because Banks saw the writing on the wall inside team headquarters at Tim Hortons Field.

“Since the Grey Cup was over I pretty much knew what was up, I’m a smart guy and it was pretty much written in the books,” Banks said.

“To be honest, I didn’t want to be the veteran holding up the organization because they’re trying to be nice to me and things like that.”

Following three seasons with the Washington Football Team and earning over $1.3 million USD in the NFL, Banks went from electrifying return man to the most dangerous receiver in the league. His 2019 season was one of the best in franchise history for a pass catcher, recording 112 receptions for 1,550 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“No harsh feelings against the organization, they went well above and beyond for me: helped me grow as a person, helped me grow as a CFL player, made Hamilton like my second home, made everything comfortable for me,” Banks said.

“I have the utmost respect for that organization, but a lot of things come to an end and it was time to move on and that’s just what it is. The organization has some young, good, talented receivers that are playing some good football.”

Banks will be on the other side for the first time in the QEW rivalry. The Argos play Hamilton four times during the 2022 regular season, two separate home-and-home sets, with Speedy B scheduled to return to the Hammer on Friday, August 12.

“Time heals everything, by then everybody will be moved on and life goes on, that’s just how I look at it — I’m just going to go out there and play ball,” Banks said.

“I get to see them four times this year. It’s going to be a fun battle and hopefully we can bring some more excitement to BMO Field and the atmosphere around there.”