Casey at the 'Cats

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Michael Clemons could find the bright spot in a nuclear holocaust.

"If Casey Printers is going to go somewhere and he is going to go somewhere in the East, this is probably the best situation for us," the Argonauts head coach, said yesterday as Printers, the former B.C. Lions standout quarterback and league MVP returned to the CFL after a year and a half with the Kansas City Chiefs to join the rival Tabbies.

The deal is believed to be worth $1.6 million over three years, plus a club option. It includes a $250,000 signing bonus.

"Going to the team that we finish with (tomorrow at the Rogers Centre) and then plays some of our division opponents, (the Ticats) might be able to help us out," Clemons said.

Dressed in a Tiger-Cats golf shirt, ball cap, and casual jeans, Printers joked that he wanted to be ready for tomorrow's game as he was introduced to the media at the club's new offices in downtown Hamilton. While he admitted an on-field appearance is unlikely, Printers was not shy about predicting big things for his new club.

"Obviously, the last few years, the Tiger-Cats have been stepsons, so to speak in the CFL, but not anymore. This is a new day, a new age," he boasted.

Printers was actually on a plane to visit with the Montreal Alouettes when he got a call from his agent, Jason Medlock. Hamilton was the new destination.

Ticats general manager Marcel Desjardins said they had a verbal committment as of 8 p.m., on Wednesday, but until Medlock and Printers got on another flight in Houston early yesterday to make their way to Hamilton did he feel that Printers was actually within his grasp.

While the Argos were tight-lipped for the most part about any interest in Printers, Medlock confirmed he had calls from all eight teams in the league. He described the Argos' interest as "mildly aggressive" which matched the Toronto party line, seemingly designed to ensure that incumbent quarterback Michael Bishop would have no reason to second-guess his standing with the club. But there was real interest.

Argos offensive coordinator Steve Buratto was in B.C., with Printers for two years and knows exactly what he brings to Hamilton.

"The one unique skill that Casey has might show up right away," Burrato said. "He's very athletic and when he gets out of the pocket, he has an uncanny ability to find an open guy down the field. Those are the things he did in 2004 that helped the Lions get to the Grey Cup. With him, it was a five-step drop, then one-two and he was out of there and throwing the ball downfield. A lot of times a rookie pulls it down and runs for his life. In that situation, Casey would run out, find a guy and get him the football."

Perhaps the only member of the Ticats not thrilled with his arrival was Jason Maas, the quarterback who was supposed to get the Ticats back on the right track.

"I came here to play, obviously and to be a starter," Maas said. "I've been a backup in the league and I understand what it takes to be one.

"It would just be a difficult situation here, but I'd be willing to do it, if that's what had to be done."

He won't have to. Last night, Maas was traded to the Montreal Alouettes where he will become the starter with Anthony Calvillo out.


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