Hamilton Tiger-Cats ink star receiver Brandon Banks to two-year extension

Tiger-Cats Receiver Brandon Banks. (Frank Gunn/CP)

HAMILTON — Star receiver Brandon Banks has signed a two-year extension with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The 31-year-old finished the 2018 season first in the CFL in receiving touchdowns and second in receiving yards and receptions, despite missing four games. He suffered a season-ending broken clavicle in the 16th game on the 18-game schedule.

"Brandon has been one of the premier playmakers in the Canadian Football League throughout his career; initially on special teams as a returner and now on offence as an explosive every-down receiver," Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement. "We’re extremely excited to have him under contract for the next two seasons."

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound Banks set a club record with 10 games with 100-plus yards. He was named a CFL all-star for the third time in his career — and first as a receiver after spending much of the earlier part of his career primarily on special teams.

In 85 career games over six seasons, Banks has 44 touchdowns scored five different ways — 29 receiving, four rushing, seven punt returns, one kickoff return, and three missed field goal returns.

Meanwhile, the annual Calgary StampedersEdmonton Eskimos Labour Day battle will take on a different perspective this year for J.C. Sherritt.

The former Eskimos linebacker joined the Stampeders as their linebackers coach Monday. Sherritt, 30, retired earlier this month after eight seasons as a linebacker with Edmonton, helping the team capture the ’15 Grey Cup.

"J.C. was a player I always respected and I’m happy to welcome him to the Stampeders organization," Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said in a statement. "I’m confident he’ll be an excellent coach and I’m excited for the fresh perspective he will bring to the defence and the organization."

Sherritt was the CFL’s top defensive player in 2012 after registering a then-record 130 defensive tackles. In 109 career games, Sherritt recorded 528 defensive tackles, 45 special-teams tackles, 15 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 14 interceptions.

"I’m excited for the next part of my career," said Sherritt. "An opportunity arose to coach in Calgary and it was a chance to be part of an organization that has enjoyed a lot of success. It seemed like a dream opportunity."

The remainder of Dickenson’s staff returns with two assistants holding new titles — Brent Monson (10th season) is the club’s new defensive co-ordinator while special teams co-ordinator Mark Kilam (15th season) adds the title of assistant head coach.

Receivers coach Pete Costanza (12th season), running backs coach Marc Mueller (sixth season), quarterbacks coach Ryan Dinwiddie (fourth season), offensive line coach Pat DelMonaco (sixth season), defensive line coach Corey Mace (fourth season) and defensive backs coach Joshua Bell (second season) are all back in 2019.

Elsewhere, the Toronto Argonauts signed linebacker Bear Woods to a one-year contract through the 2019 season.

The 32-year-old Woods missed most of the 2018 season after starting the campaign on the nine-game injured list to recover from surgery for a herniated disc. He returned in Week 11 and had 29 tackles over four games.

Woods joined the Argos as a free agent in 2017 after six seasons in Montreal. In his first season in Toronto he recorded 90 defensive tackles and two sacks during the regular-season and six tackles in the post-season as the Argonauts captured the Grey Cup.

"Bear is a veteran leader on and off the field and a player that has been one of the best at his position," Argos general manager Jim Popp said in a team release. "He was integral in helping us win a Grey Cup championship in 2017, the ultimate player, and we couldn’t be happier to have him healthy and ready to go in 2019."

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