The Toronto Argonauts lead football decision-makers believe Brandon Banks can regain his MOP form in double blue.
After eight seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Banks parted ways with the only CFL franchise he had ever known to sign a two-year contract with the Argos. It pays him $100,000 in 2022 and has the potential to be worth $180,000 in 2023. He earned $188,500 during the 2019 season, the best of his career in Canada.
“Last year at the end of the year, he really picked it up. I think the year off maybe slowed him down a little bit and he had injuries early on in the season,” head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said while admitting he believes Banks can reach CFL all-star status again.
“I’ve got to do a good job of scripting and designing plays to get some balls in his hands, let him be that vertical threat and put him in the right position. I feel he’s got some juice left, at least two years left. It’s on us to put him in the right positions.”
Banks had a stellar 2019 campaign leading the CFL in every major receiving category on route to 112 receptions for 1,550 yards with 13 receiving touchdowns. Last season injuries held the 34-year-old to 10 games played but the playmaker still hauled in 44 catches for 474 yards and two touchdowns helping Hamilton get to the Grey Cup for the second season in a row.
“His [agent] actually reached out first and that was a little bit of a surprise. I guess not so much at that point, because we were wondering, but there was always a little bit of that wall and once he reached out, it became really simple,” general manager Pinball Clemons said.
“Speedy is a unique guy for sure, a committed and dedicated guy. I’m not sure what happened [in Hamilton] but you see people and have a tremendous amount of respect. Sometimes you find out that respect is reciprocal, that it actually comes back the other way.”
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 the dynamic five-foot-seven, 150-pound pass catcher scheduled to return to the Hammer on Friday, August 12.
“Speedy thinks he has 10 years left, if that means anything,” Clemons said.
Toronto certainly hopes Banks can help terrorize the Ticats while playing for the team located in The Six for as long as possible.