Andrew Harris may be a Toronto Argonaut, but his 2022 season is still going to be all about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The future Hall of Fame running back’s departure from his hometown club in free agency was less than amicable, with reports emerging that the Bombers had lost trust in their star ball carrier after a lack of focus in the offseason caused him to miss time due to injury. Harris has acknowledged that was the case, but felt he deserved more leeway after helping the Bombers to back-to-back CFL championships.
“Maybe there’s a little ego involved, but why do I need to keep proving myself?” Harris asked rhetorically in an appearance on TSN 1050’s First Up.
“I’ve been in the league now for 12 or 13 years, I’ve won multiple rushing titles, multiple Grey Cups, and I started off as a junior player, Canadian running back. I’ve always had to prove myself, always had to kind of overcome things and it’s nothing different this year.”
The Bombers went so far as to ask the soon-to-be 35-year-old to work out for the team and did not offer a contract until the weekend before free agency. The deal, which Harris dubbed “disrespectful,” would not have made him the highest paid running back on the team and came with a hard deadline, forcing Harris out of Winnipeg.
Now in Toronto, the star back has plenty of motivation to get back at his old club.
“I want to prove to myself, prove to the Bombers that they made a big mistake for doing what they did,” Harris emphasized. “And then ultimately just prove to my new teammates that I’m here to come win and play hard.”
Harris was limited to seven games last season due to injuries to his knee and calf. He was still highly productive when in the lineup, carrying the ball 116 times for 623 yards and three touchdowns.
The Winnipeg native turned back the clock in the West Final, rushing for 136 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was solid in the Grey Cup the following week against Hamilton, rushing 18 times for 80 yards in the overtime victory.
Harris currently sits just 339 yards shy of the 10,000-yard rushing mark and could become the first Canadian to cross that threshold next season. The back says his body feels great and Argos fans should expect a fiery resurgence.
“Every single down, every time I touch that ball I’m gonna fight for every inch. Hopefully gain that trust around the locker room, within the coaching staff and within the city that I will make big plays and grind out those tough yards for the team and ultimately try to do whatever I can to help us with football games,” he said.
Fortunately for the Bombers, Harris won’t have a chance to exact his revenge in Winnipeg as the Argos don’t travel to the Manitoba capital in 2022.