X Factor Parker gets new contract

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

When he won the 2003 NCAA slam dunk championship, Byron Parker unleashed a monster move he dubbed "the X Factor."

That's the nickname the Argos are hanging on the upstart cornerback after yesterday announcing a contract extension that could keep him with the team through 2009.

After being cut by the Dallas Cowboys in August, Parker returned to Toronto, where he has become a force on the league's most dynamic defence.

"The Argos gave me a shot, believed in me and told me if everything worked out I would be the starting cornerback," Parker said after practice yesterday.

"Right now, everything seems to be working out and I'm happy with the choice (to remain here)."

So, too, are the Argos. In just nine games, Parker has eight interceptions, including four that have been returned for touchdowns. On his way to those scores, his 348 return yards are a single-season CFL record.

While Parker doesn't feel he was given a reasonable shot to impress during his brief stint in Dallas, he won't close the door on an NFL career.

Instead, he will remain with a team that appreciates him.

"I don't think the door is closed, I'm still young," said the former Tulane Green Wave hoops star, who was a walk-on to the football team in his senior year.

"If I have to go to the NFL later in my career that's fine, but right now I like it here. I've established myself with the guys and the team and the city.

"That's what's most important."

MILES STILL SORE

Receiver Tony Miles will be a game-time decision for Toronto's game tomorrow against the Montreal Alouettes. Miles injured his foot in this past Friday's loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.


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