The ‘Manny Show’ is back for at least the next two seasons and the BC Lions couldn’t be happier to have the show airing at BC Place Stadium once again. When it came right down to it, it was must see TV for the Lions and their fans.
The team announced Thursday that Emmanuel Arceneaux, their leading receiver, had signed a two-year deal with the team, locking up the player who developed great chemistry with new starter Jonathan Jennings. Arceneaux was scheduled to become a free agent in February and there was some though by some, including myself that he may want to test the waters after seeing former teammates Nick Moore and Ernest Jackson cash in the last two seasons.
But GM and head coach Wally Buono realized the value of Arceneaux on and off the field and gave him a deal worthy of a top CFL receiver and team ambassador.
Arceneaux struggled along with the Lions offence early last season. With a new coaching staff and several new players, it took some time for things to gel. There was also an incident following a loss to Montreal where Arceneaux appeared to disrespect his opponent. But if you ask his teammates, that was just “Manny being Manny”, an intense competitor and someone who wants to help his team be the best it can be.
Arceneaux started to generate rave reviews once again with the arrival of Jennings and the young QB showed he wasn’t afraid to let the talented receiver go get the ball, something that wasn’t happening earlier in the 2015 campaign. Arceneaux had a stretch of games where he looked unstoppable, rag dolling defenders for extra yards and making clutch catches.
He finished the season with 76 receptions for 1151, the fourth best total in the league and yards and 9 receiving touchdowns, which was top three.
“Manny is an important part of our offence and leader in our dressing room,” said Buono. “This is a critical signing for the club heading into next season and I know our fans will be very happy to see him remain with the Lions.”
“There was only one place I wanted to play and that’s in BC for Wally and Lions fans,” said Arceneaux. “We’re going to be back in a big way in 2016 and I can’t wait to get started.”
Off the field Arceneaux is one of the Lions busiest ambassadors. He loves speaking to children and makes countless appearances around the community and the province on behalf of the Lions. This past season he developed a connection with Dylan, a young boy with Autism.
Arceneaux is a key piece to the Lions offence and it was vital that the team didn’t let another fan favourite leave. Especially considering the thoughts of many that Andrew Harris could be moving on when free agency opens in February. He’ll be counted on heavily on 2016, but there are few that work harder on and off the field.
Stay tuned, a new season of The Manny Show premiers in June and with co-star Jonathan Jennings, there could be an Emmy in the works.
Emmanuel Arceneaux Career Stats: