Levingston stays in T.O.

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

It was an offer he simply couldn't refuse.

After weighing his options, return specialist Bashir Levingston has decided to accept the Argos offer to restructure his contract.

Levingston had been scheduled to receive a bonus payment of $20,000 today on his existing contract, which was scheduled to pay him $125,000, but the Argos indicated to him on the weekend they wanted to re-do the deal.

With the recent signing of free agent Keith Stokes, who is an established returner and receiver, Levingston became too expensive for the Argos purely as a returner.

After dialoguing yesterday with Argos general manager Adam Rita, Levingston decided to stay with the team for which he has played since joining the Canadian Football League in 2002.

"I just wanted assurances about my role and what I'd be doing," he said last night.

Levingston, who has recorded 12 touchdown returns for the Argos, wants to be more than just a one-way player. He played some cornerback for the Argos in his rookie year and has been used occasionally since in that role or as a receiver.

"I still must hard work every day in practice to get more playing time," he said. "I know I can do it."

Had Levingston declined the Argo offer, he would have been released, but would have had offers from other teams.

"I'm happy (the decision process is over)," he said. "I don't have to move to another city or province, so that's cool."

Rita hoped to have both Stokes and Levingston because it would allow the team to use Stokes more on offence. Stokes, who played the last two years in Winnipeg, posted single-season personal bests in the pro level in 2005 with 58 catches and 832 receiving yards.


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