QB Dane Evans thanks Ticats teammates following trade to Lions, promises to see Hamilton ‘for the Grey Cup’

Photo courtesy: Trevor Hagan/CFL

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans said goodbye to the only CFL team he’s ever known on Thursday night, following his trade to the B.C. Lions.

In a heartfelt post on Twitter, Evans thanked his teammates and fans in Hamilton, promising to return to the city to play in the 110th Grey Cup this November.

“There’s nothing like the 905. This town took me in and helped make me the man I am today. I had four great seasons in this city. I had my beautiful daughter in this city, my family even made the city our home at one point. I gave the city and organization everything I had every day. From going 15-3 and leading the team to and winning back-to-back Eastern Conference Championships in ’19 and ’21, to never losing a start on Labour Day, to rallying last season and making the playoffs, I’m going to miss my teammates in that locker room the most. I thank every single one of you. When one door closes, another one opens and I cannot wait to get to work and meet my new teammates in B.C. I’m anxious and excited to prove to another coaching staff, locker room and fan base what I can do. I cannot wait to be in my role, whatever it is, and help continue the success from last year. Hamilton, I’ll see you for the Grey Cup.”

Evans took over as the Ticats’ undisputed starter for the first time in 2022, carrying high expectations after helping lead the team to consecutive Grey Cup appearances in a tandem effort with veteran Jeremiah Masoli. Evans failed to reward that faith, throwing for 3,883 passing yards while tossing just 16 touchdowns and a league-leading 16 interceptions. He also committed more fumbles than any other quarterback, finishing with a passer rating of 90.2 — tenth among players with at least 100 pass attempts.

The 29-year-old struggled again in the playoffs, throwing for 123 yards and one interception in the East Semi-Final. He was pulled early in the third quarter with his team down 22-6, giving way to backup Matthew Shiltz in a loss to the Montreal Alouettes.

The Sanger, Texas native dubbed the 2022 season the “toughest mental year of sports” in his life as a result of his struggles and saw his tenure as the starter come to an end when the team acquired the rights to Bo Levi Mitchell early in the offseason.

Evans played 63 games as a member of the Ticats over the past five seasons, throwing for 8,807 yards, 45 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions. He also carried the ball 125 times for 511 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He has reportedly renegotiated his contract and will serve as Vernon Adams Jr’s backup next season in B.C.