The Ottawa Renegades could be welcoming back another key player in 2006.
Defensive back Korey Banks, whom Renegades management expected to sign in the NFL, sounds as though he is closer to returning to Ottawa than previously believed. Banks, a potential CFL free agent next month, has already begun contract negotiations with the Renegades after receiving cool NFL interest.
"I'm not going to sit around and keep waiting on these NFL people. I'll probably do one more workout and that's it," Banks said when reached yesterday at the Indianapolis airport following an audition with the NFL Colts. "I figured there would be more people interested in me, but it doesn't seem that way. I'm confused. I guess I'm not good enough.
"If I don't get something in the next couple of days, it's back to the CFL."
Banks led the CFL in interceptions last season with 10. He was also named the Renegades' most outstanding player and most outstanding defensive player.
Yesterday, Banks said he has received calls from some NFL teams but has no scheduled workouts pending. He added that he has had two conversations with Renegades president Lonie Glieberman, who did not return the Citizen's phone calls, about a new contract.
"We're trying to work something out," he said. "Tell everybody in Ottawa I miss them and that I'd like to see them again."
The Renegades have already agreed in principle on long-term contract extensions for quarterback Kerry Joseph and linebacker Kyries Hebert, two standout performers in 2005.
"I need some up-front money also, so I can feel like I'll have longevity and don't have to worry," said Banks. "I really don't want a four- or five-year deal, I'd rather do a two- or a three-year deal, but I'm still thinking about it."
Banks, 26, spent time with the Miami Dolphins prior to joining the Renegades in the late stages of the 2004 season. After that, the Washington Redskins tried to sign him, mistakenly believing they could assign him to NFL Europe, which is not permitted for players entering their option year.
Note: Ottawa native Marcel Bellefeuille has resigned as offensive co-ordinator with the Saskatchewan Roughriders to join the Montreal Alouettes' coaching staff. Bellefeuille, who led the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees to a national championship in 2000, had spent the past five years with the Roughriders, but will now coach receivers and running backs in Montreal. "It was a family decision," Bellefeuille said from in Regina yesterday. "We're less than a two-hour drive from home and it's also important for my (four) kids to be in a bilingual milieu."