Swapping Sides: Argos sign Brandon Banks

TORONTO — The Toronto Argonauts have signed American WR Brandon Banks.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/02/13/swapping-sides-argos-sign-brandon-banks/

Well, there you have it. Not unexpected. Very good signing by Argos.


Amazing. They are soooo good at fitting a hundred million dollars worth of players into a five million dollar salary cap.

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Good to see Ottawa and Toronto don't have a salary cap

Why does everyone assume that the Argos are over the cap? Banks is in the twilight of his career.


My bad. I shouldn't assume that Toronto always rounds up to the nearest ten million. Forgive me.

Glad to see him land on his feet, I'm sure he still has a lot to offer, but perhaps the glory days are behind him. Prove me wrong, Brandon.

LOL. But for real, though. I haven't paid close attention to what they've been doing in free agency. Have they spent a lot? Ottawa is clearly going buck wild with free agents. What's Toronto's situation?

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Oh ,wait!! What am I saying? He's an Argo now. You suck, Speedy!


On the John Hufnagel Scale, I suspect that Toronto is experiencing a spending quake of catastrophic proportions. I don't have to tell you that anything over fifty bucks on the Hufnagel Scale can cause huge cracks in the budget. But who among us couldn't see this coming? The Argos lie on a major 'No-likey-our-game Fault Line' (otherwise known as the 'NFL'). If Toronto doesn't spend like bandits in Free Agency they'll wind up like Calgary. No one in the East wants a perennial winner like that on their doorstep.


Yes for the last two (2) free agency years, the Argos have signed a lot of very experienced players. So many X-Stampeders (Players & coaches) that everyone is calling them the "Eastern Stampeders" or "Stampeders 2.0". I don't understand if Huff can't afford these high-performance players to remain under the Cap, how is Pinball able to get them signed and live with the cap? Is it creative accounting that he is doing?

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'Creative accounting'? No no no. Hufnagel's a magician. At least that's what his magical win/loss record on the cheap tells us. I think he's just one more Grey Cup away from being burned at the stake by scared Argo villagers.

Oh god. Not more conspiracy theories from the west about Toronto.

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Rearrange the letters in 'Toronto' and you get 'Ontroot'. If that's not a Martian buglar sounding the charge I don't know what is.

Leave the Elk call to arms alone.

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In my opinion, the Game of Thrones, as far as players go, has changed considerably since the one year contract has become dominant. No longer is drafting and finding players enough. I would say that this goes for most leagues. All team sports are so different from the days of my youth when the word free agent referred only to one’s marital status.

Drafting and finding players are still important, but I would say that in most years winning without a few good free agent signings is difficult or impossible. Winnipeg has done very well with their recruiting lately but they didn’t recruit Jefferson, Bighill, Rose, Harris, Adams, Collaros and others. All free agent signings. The proof is in that pudding. Toronto this past year went from bad to first on the back of free agency. Ottawa and BC and to some extent Edmonton are trying to duplicate that. That is of course not automatic, but people in those cities aren’t talking about how those teams have improved and looking forward to a new beginning because of drafting and recruiting.

If you rely on drafting and recruiting and frugality only in this day and age, you will usually be left in the dust. You would have to be virtually perfect in drafting and recruiting to not need the help of free agency. And that is impossible. My Pittsburgh Pirates have historically had among the best farm systems in baseball, yet that doesn’t help them keep the Bonds, Bonilla’s or Garrett Coles they drafted. Even if you are very good, you are bound to lose some of the excellent players you recruited to other teams in free agency. It could even be said that it is stupid and arrogant to think otherwise and not recognize the changes to the game and adapt to the times.

If the Stampeders and Huff don’t change the approach that worked so well for them in the past, I think they will be left in the dust. They again didn’t do well in free agency. I see Winnipeg and Saskatchewan as the two best teams in the West heading into next season. That leaves one, possibly two playoff spots open for the other three teams. It is not difficult to imagine the Stamps missing the playoffs this year after back to back third place finishes and one and done playoff performances, with less discernible improvement than the four other Western teams (and it should be noted that the top team every year, now the Bombers, have a different standard for improvement. They just need to be close to the same team they were). I am not saying this with any bias for or against any teams. Just calling it as I sees it, with current examples only used to highlight my point.

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You may be right. Edmonton can only get better and sooner or later BC will figure out that an offensive line is kinda necessary. Calgary might have to open that dusty wallet this year let the moths come out for air.

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Speedy B is a bit of a risky signing, given his age and injury history, but if he can have a good year like Chad Owens did when he went to Hamilton back in the day, it's worth it.

About the finances, there are a couple of points to make here.

  1. The Argos are signing guys at the end of their careers (Andrew Harris, Brandon Banks, etc.) who are going for much cheaper than they would have in their primes on 1-year deals. These guys are being given one more kick at the can to see if they can still go, just like Charleston Hughes did last year. Let's hope they can still play!

  2. The Argos are not spending a lot on their QBs right now, which frees up money for big signings in other positions. MBT re-signed with the Boatmen for LESS than he made last year (per 3 Down Nation and others) and they don't have a 1B backup like a lot of teams. They currently have Antonio Pipkin as the #2 and Chad Kelly invited to camp as a long-shot experiment.

  3. The Argos are getting lots of names, but outside of Davis and a couple of others, most are not getting Kenny Lawler money. They are getting big names, but not top names and, as mentioned, many are coming cheaper in the latter stages of their careers.

  4. Every team, besides Calgary, has signed lots of big names this offseason, given the current situation with so many one-year contracts. Big names are going everywhere. Welcome to the CFL in 2022! Calgary is going old-school and building through the draft and player development and they will find a way to be competitive still.


Despite all that, a lot has to do with injuries. The lack of good QB's can doom you no matter who you have. In the case of your team, Jon, I said it at the beginning of last season & say it again. It all depends if 1) Collaros can stay healthy for an 18 game season which he has yet to do as a starter & 2) If you can find a replacement for Medlock or, as is the case this year, Castillo. Good luck with Dru if it comes to that.

Hufnagel is doing exactly what Belichek has done for years & has 8 Super Bowl rings to show for it. Jettison older players & bring in good young players. It has worked for 13 years with Huf in Calgary. Maybe the Bombers minus their top RB, top WR can remain on top. Ellingson doesn't = Lawler & Adams in my book, Glass doesn't = Darby & Jones. And losing Richardson hurts. As for Riders bringing in Sankey & Moncrief gives them arguably the best LB group in the CFL but their 2nd last rated pass defence in yds allowed & big plays allowed lost Purifoy, the Riders MOP on D last year, Gainey & Bouka. Plus 2 big men @ DT on the 2nd best run defence. It's way too early but it would not surprise me if the Stamps leapfrogged both teams. They have a better all round offence than either - 2 quality QB's, a top RB, a good, young OL & a good set of receivers. Don't like Calgary, but they match up pretty well IMO.

Sad to think of Hamilton losing a football hero but glad that fans can still see him in play in the CFL. Banks and running back Harris are superstars in the league that can certainly motivate the younger players in the great city of Toronto.