Montreal are making moves. The Montreal Alouettes have been busy off the field of late. After the misery of the lost 2020 CFL season, there were signs of some return to normality in the league going about its business. So far Montreal have been one of the busiest teams working on their roster for the coming year.
Last week all 9 CFL General Managers were given the go ahead to try and sign their free agents. This is before they become eligible for the free agent market on February 9th.
Over the summer and what should have been the Grey Cup week we have looked at quite a bit of CFL history. Montreal have featured in articles on Sam Etcheverry, and the 1970, 2000, and 2010 Grey Cup games.
Which is fine. But it is great to have some actual current CFL news to keep up with.
So what moves are Montreal actually making? Montreal GM Danny Maciocia went into this with 48 potential free agents. The most of any team in the CFL.
Getting to work, Maciocia and his team have reworked the contract of starting QB Vernon Adams Jr. and re-signed backup Matt Shiltz. As well as re-signing star RB William Stanback, re-signing veteran O-lineman Tony Washington, and Canadian OL Landon Rice. They have also tied up number one receiver Eugene Lewis, star kick returner ‘Super’ Mario Alford, defensive back Tyquwan Glass and defensive-lineman David Ménard.
Maciocia and the Montreal brass will be hoping this all spells a return of ‘Magnifique Montréal’. Last time out the Alouettes made their way back to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. They will be wanting to build on that with the core of the team they have in place.
The Financial Challenge
Among the long list of Montreal potential free agents still to sign are middle-linebacker Henoc Muamba, the league’s outstanding Canadian in 2019. (A man we argued was one of the best first overall draft picks of the last decade).
Not to mention plenty of other players from the Montreal squad Such as offensive-linemen Trey Rutherford and Tyler Johnstone, WR’s B.J. Cunningham, Jake Wieneke, and Naaman Roosevelt.
On the defensive side of the ball are players like defensive-linemen John Bowman, Woody Baron and Adrian Tracy; Then there are defensive backs Ciante Evans, Greg Reid, Tyquwan Glass and Monshadrik Hunter.
But it won’t be easy to hold a squad together. Cuts are coming.
The CFL may be entering the final season of its salary cap, which was set at $5.35 million. But in reality it is expected that figure will come down, as long as the league and the players’ association come to terms.
The football operations cap has already been reduced by more than $500,000 per team. In the case of Montreal that has seen them reduce their coaching staff for instance.
But for now it’s nice to dream. To dream of a season actually being played. And a team like the Alouettes having some recognisable and talented players on the field.
It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out on, and off the field. Around the league and in Montreal.
Getting your Montreal Alouettes updates
If you are interested in the Montreal Alouettes then I would suggest having a look at their own website. You can read it in French or English.
You can also find a team specific section for them on 3downnation.
A great, fan led podcast for the team is the Alouettes Flight Deck.
When following an overseas team a great place to start is with local news outlets. The Montreal Gazette has a great Als specific section that would be well worth your time.
Banner image: re-signed William Stanback. Image from cfl.ca