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Chris Williams isn’t worrying about how Hamilton Tiger-Cats will welcome him back Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton reacquired Williams as part of the five-play deal Sunday night that sent quarterback Johnny Manziel to the Montreal Alouettes. The speedy receiver began his CFL career with the Ticats (2011-12) and earned the league’s top rookie and outstanding special-teams player awards over his two seasons, before ultimately going to court to get out of his deal in order to pursue opportunities south of the border.

The five-foot-nine, 155-pound Williams will start at slotback when Hamilton (2-3) hosts the Ottawa Redblacks (3-2) at Tim Hortons Field in a battle of the East Division’s top two clubs.

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Chris Williams runs for a Ticat touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes in 2012.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

“Ah man, it’s done with,” Williams said following Friday’s walkthrough. “I have a job to do and I’m going to focus on that.

“It’s a business, first and foremost. Just go my thing and the rest will take care of itself.”

Williams, 30, was a double-threat for Hamilton in 2011-12. He was a 1,000-yard receiver both years and in 2012 returned five punts for TDs.

But he became embroiled in a bitter contract dispute with Hamilton, going to arbitration to be released from the final year of his deal to pursue NFL offers. An arbitrator ruled the Ticats violated the league’s collective bargaining agreement by negotiating with an unregistered agent but that the penaty was a fine, not the termination of the contract.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a ruling that quashed the arbitrator’s original judgement while ordering the Ticats to pay court costs of $8,500. That prompted the CFL Players’ Association to declare Williams a free agent but both the CFL and Ticats disagreed, saying they planned to appeal the ruling.

Ultimately, Williams and the Ticats reached an agreement that allowed Williams to join the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Williams did ultimately return to the CFL in 2014, joining the Redblacks after being released by the Chicago Bears.

Williams will start at slotback against Ottawa, declaring himself ready to go after a full week of practice.

“It doesn’t matter to me at this point,” he said. “I’ve had enough games in my career and enough time at each position to where I feel pretty comfortable.

“This is a good situation for me. We’ve got a really good system in place, especially for a person like me. I’m just looking forward to getting into it and trying to be successful.”

Hamilton quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who started the season with four straight 300-yard passing performances, said the addition of Williams is a big boost for the Ticat’s offence.

“He’s seen all the CFL defences, he can read them very well,” Masoli said. “He’s very fast … he’s another guy who can take the top off coverages.

“He runs good routes, gets in and out of his cuts well. Just from the short week he’s been here he’s shown why he’s a baller. He can pick up the offence fast and make plays for us.”

Defensive end Jamaal Westerman, 33, also acquired in the Manziel trade, will also suit up for Hamilton, one of nine defensive linemen the Ticats will dress against Ottawa.

“We’re going to try to get a rotation working and I’d say they’ll all play,” Hamilton coach June Jones said. “These guys [Redblacks] go no-huddle so you’re going to have to probably change by series otherwise you’re getting worn down.”

The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Westerman had 19 tackles and three sacks in three games with Montreal. The 33-year-old, in his fifth CFL season, has 35 career sacks, including 17 in 2015 with Winnipeg.

“I’m having a good time trying to pick up the defence, trying to learn where I can,” he said. “Seeing what they’re doing and learning from the guys that have been playing in it seeing where they play, the calls, the different checks.

“That’s the part I’m trying to wrap my mind around but I feel I’m picking it up at a good pace.”

Fortunately for Westerman, football is his top priority right now as his wife, Annie, handles the logistics of moving the family from Montreal to Hamilton. The Westermans have two young children: daughter Arielle (4) and son Jrew (born May 31).

“My wife has been invaluable,” Westerman said. “[When trade happened] she said just focus on football.”

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