Added horsepower

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

And just like that the Calgary Stampeders have the best quarterback tandem in the CFL.

After courting free agent quarterback Dave Dickenson for the better part of two months, Sun sources say the Calgary Stampeders came to terms with the 35-year-old quarterback yesterday.

The Stamps have called an afternoon press conference today where Dickenson will officially be re-introduced as a member of the team he started his CFL career with in 1996, when current coach John Hufnagel was offensive co-ordinator.

However, unlike the three years Dickenson spent here ahead of Henry Burris on the depth chart from 1997-99, the injury-prone former MVP is returning as a backup.

Dickenson did not return phone calls from his Calgary home last night but told the Sun earlier in the week he saw the Stamps as a good fit, especially given his relationship with the 32-year-old Burris.

After being released by the B.C. Lions from his $400,000 a year contract Nov. 26, Dickenson contemplated retirement following three concussions in as many years.

However, after being given a clean bill of health, the allure of finishing his career in a secondary role in his adopted hometown made as much sense as Hufnagel's desire to provide the type of proven insurance behind Burris the club hasn't had in years.

While Burris made a case for being voted the league's most outstanding player last year, Dickenson, the man who won such honours in 2000 while with Calgary, will be able to mentor and push Burris to reach his potential.

And given the depth every team in the west now has at quarterback, the Stamps may very well need both pivots to improve on last year's 7-10-1 record.

The Lions will announce any day they've signed Jarious Jackson to compliment Buck Pierce, the Roughriders have Marcus Crandell to support MVP Kerry Joseph and even the lowly Eskimos have Jason Maas back as Ricky Ray's sidekick.

Dickenson told the Sun earlier in the week he hoped offensive co-ordinator George Cortez would remain with the club as the two have a history together. Word that Cortez was no longer in line for the Saskatchewan head coaching job likely helped Dickenson decide to take a massive pay cut to wear red and white again.

The 2006 Grey Cup MVP had also been talking to Toronto and Winnipeg before making his decision.

The move also ensures the club avoids the dreadful mistake it made in 2003, when Dickenson wanted to return to Cowtown following his NFL stint, only to be rebuffed by Stamps owner Michael Feterik who wanted to make way for his son to play quarterback. It set the franchise back five years.

The Stamps also have Ben Sankey and Barrick Nealy under contract and will hold an open competition at camp for the third-string job.

Dickenson will now join his brother, special teams coach Craig Dickenson, in Calgary, with an eye on trying to duplicate a feat they accomplished in college.

"What I'd like to do is win a Grey Cup with him," said Dickenson earlier in the week.

"I did it in college and that was nice for the family. That would be special."

So is wrapping up his impressive career in the same place it started.


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