Thursday, 5 February 2015
Take It to the Bank: Speedy B Staying in Tiger Town
The Ti-Cats announced a few hours ago that Brandon Banks has signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the team until 2017. Banks' contract was set to expire in five days.
With the slew of re-signings last week, Banks was probably biggest free agent left... until today. His signing for three years is also not insignificant. He has committed to the team for the long haul and, at 27, he has likely decided to make the CFL, and Hamilton, is permanent professional home.
Banks' 2014 season saw him emerge as the league's premier returnman. He led the league in combined yardage and was twice named Special Teams Player of the Week. The diminutive speedster from Kansas State also was a threat on offense, finishing with 529 yards on 42 catches and tying for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns. The progress he made from year one to year two shows that he can be a significant contributor on offense to go along with his excellence on special teams. And if his role continues to increase in the offense, the sky is the limit for him.
And while some might point to the disappointing ending to the Grey Cup as their lasting memory of Brandon Banks, I think we need to look a week earlier when Speedy B took over the East Final against the Als with two of the most amazing punt return touchdowns I have seen in my 25+ years of watching football. Those two returns will be what I remember of Brandon Banks from the 2014 season.
With Banks and Luke Tasker both signed for the long term, the dominoes can fall regarding other players. Taylor Reed is apparently close to signing an extension of his own and there are a couple other players – namely Bakari Grant and Justin Hickman – who I would like to see brought back.
But we can worry about who else will be back if and when they sign. This is about Brandon Banks. And I think I speak for all of Tiger Town when I say: Welcome Back, Speedy B!