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May 24, 2018

Does the ageless S.J. Green still have the best hands?

Johany Jutras/CFL.ca

TORONTO — For the third time in four years, S.J. Green is looking to earn the honour from his peers as having the best hands in the Canadian Football League.

Best in the League continues Friday with the latest episode, ‘Best Hands’, a category the Argos’ receiver has dominated over the last few years.

But even with such a reputation, and having been in the league since 2007, Green’s accomplishments in 2017 were beyond most people’s wildest expectations.

Coming off a devastating, potentially career-threatening knee injury that claimed his 2016 season, after which he was discarded by the Als in exchange for a sixth-round pick, Green had the season of a lifetime.

“Everyone wondered what he’d be able to do, especially after being traded,” CFL.ca’s Chris O’Leary said. “He responded with a career year.”

“As good as he was before knee surgery?” added Don Landry. “He might be even better, actually.”


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Green was a unanimous pick back in December for Comeback Player of the Year by CFL.ca’s panel, earning all eight votes after shattering his previous career-highs with 104 receptions and 1,462 yards. He also had 10 touchdowns, hitting double-digits for the third time in his career, while winning his third Grey Cup ring in his first year with the Argos.

More than just the numbers, though, Green’s sticky fingers appeared all over highlight reels throughout the season, from an incredible one-handed catch in the season-opener to a tough grab in traffic in the end zone in Regina.

“After a lost 2016 season I expected Green to play the role of veteran mentor who occasionally will catch a pass,” said Matthew Cauz. “Instead, he finished second in receiving yards!”

There are plenty of possibilities as the players vote for their peers with the best hands. Luke Tasker has earned a reputation as one of the most reliable receivers in the CFL, and last year he backed it up when he recorded a career-high 1,167 yards, going over the century mark in receptions for the first time (104) while setting a franchise record.

 

Bryan Burnham‘s impact could be seen in his highlight reel, which will show arguably the number one play of the year when the Lions receiver cradled a pass with one hand while falling in the end zone — one of several awe-inspiring grabs.

Brad Sinopoli and Derel Walker could also threaten for the title as two of the league’s higher-volume receivers, who consistently catch every ball thrown their way.

Unseating Green, however, may not be in the cards. Not after the season he had in Toronto.

Watch on Friday as Best in the League continues for a fourth year leading up to the 2018 CFL season.