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VANCOUVER — The BC Lions have officially signed interior defensive lineman Mic’hael Brooks to a new two-year deal, the team announced Tuesday.
The deal, struck just after the 12 p.m. ET free agency deadline, keeps one of the league’s top inside linemen from hitting the open market.
Brooks, 25, was ranked eighth among CFL.ca’s top 30 pending free agents.
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“Mic’hael has the ability to be one of the most dominant interior defensive linemen in the league and this is a significant signing for our defence,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “The ability to control the line of scrimmage, pressure the quarterback and stop the run are the qualities upon which championship defences are built and by re-signing Mic’hael this is a big step in that direction.”
Through two CFL campaigns Brooks has appeared in 28 regular season games recording 62 tackles and four sacks. The East Carolina grad was a 2015 West Division All-Star, but an ankle injury suffered in Calgary in July last year limited his action to 13 regular season games. The 25 year-old was a set to become a hot commodity on the CFL agent market before inking the two-year deal.
“In the end, BC is the only place I wanted to be,” said Brooks. “Beyond the contract stuff, players want to play where they have legitimate opportunities to win championships and this season the belief in our room is that we are that team.”
National Iannuzzi extends through 2018
The Lions also announced Tuesday they’ve re-signed national receiver Marco Iannuzzi through 2018.
Originally joining the Lions as the club’s first-round selection (sixth overall) in the 2010 CFL Draft, the Calgary native enters his eighth season with the Leos and comes off a 2016 season which included career-highs in receiving yards (360), punt returns (22) and punt return yards (232).
“Marco is an important and underrated part of our offence who we can count on to give us consistent performances,” said GM and head coach Wally Buono. “His ability to contribute on offence and on special teams makes this signing a very important one for the club.”
The veteran receiver now sits two games shy of 100 for his career and has racked-up 107 receptions for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns. A tireless contributor in the community, Marco earned the CFL’s Tom Pate Award last season.