Argonauts add another offensive weapon in speedster Brandon Banks

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TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts added another free-agent offensive weapon Sunday in former Tiger-Cat receiver Brandon (Speedy B) Banks.

The 34-year-old Banks spent the last eight seasons in Hamilton, a receiving and return threat who was named the CFL’s most outstanding player in 2019 and top special-teams player in 2015.

He left the club in late January, saying he “will always bleed black and gold.”

Perhaps, but now he will wear Double Blue, along with former Winnipeg star running back Andrew Harris.

“We want to welcome Brandon and his family to Toronto and couldn’t be more excited for him to join the organization,” Argos coach Ryan Dinwiddie said in a statement.

“Brandon gives us a ball in hand receiver and a vertical threat to our passing game, while providing veteran leadership. What he’s done in this league is phenomenal and we are thrilled he’ll be in Double Blue.”

Banks is a four-time CFL all-star (2014, ’15, ’18, ’19) and six-time East all-star (2014-19).

The five-foot-seven speedster played 111 games as a Ticat and ranks first in franchise history in kick return yards (3,773), punt return yards (3,049), missed field goal return yards (779) and missed field goal return touchdowns (5).

He stands second among Hamilton players in total touchdowns (62), combined yards (13,686) and punt return touchdowns (7) and inside the top eight in receptions (442), receiving yards (5,678) and receiving touchdowns (44).

A special-teams dynamo early in his career, Banks transitioned into a wideout threat. He had his first 1,000-yard receiving season in 2017 with 1,011 yards, adding a then-career-high eight touchdowns through the air.

He followed that up with 1,423 receiving yards and 11 TDs in 2018 and 1,550 yards and 13 TDs in his MOP 2019 season.

A rib injury limited Banks to 10 games in the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, which saw his offensive output drop to 474 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

He scored a touchdown in his final game with the Ticats, a heartbreaking 33-25 loss at home to Winnipeg in the 108th Grey Cup.

Prior to coming to Canada, the North Carolina native and Kansas State alum played three seasons with Washington’s NFL team (2010-12) where he saw action in 41 games and tallied over 2,800 kick return yards and a return touchdown.

Hamilton defensive lineman J’Gared Davis has also signed with the Argos as a free agent.

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