Alouettes Free Agency

True, but also, imagine the Als with an offensive line like Toronto’s or Winnipeg’s!

If we can upgrade at right guard and left tackle, get some size and nastiness at those positions, it will do wonders for every aspect of our game. At guard especially. We gave up a number of sacks this year because someone just overwhelmed Matte on a bull rush and broke through to get to Cody.

Je vois pas de problème avec le jeu de Callender.

Final PFF Rankings:


LT Nick Callender
LG Pier-Olivier Lestage
C Justin Lawrence
RG Kristian Matte
RT Landon Rice

  • The Alouettes fielded the best pass-protecting offensive line in the CFL, and it wasn’t that close. Montreal had seven players play more than 100 snaps this season, and each finished with a 70.0-plus pass-blocking grade.
  • Rice and Callender would be the best offensive linemen on many teams in the CFL, but Pier-Olivier Lestage was the best player for this group. Lestage finished as the top-ranked left guard in the league, with a 78.7 overall grade. Lestage finished as the second-best run-blocker, with an 83.6 run-blocking grade, and was solid in pass-protection, earning a 78.0 pass-blocking grade.
  • Montreal ranked as the second-best run-blocking team in the CFL, earning a 65.6 run-blocking grade.

I don’t think Callender is bad at all. He’s pretty solid. But I don’t think he’s at the top of the league when it comes to left tackles.

It’s sort of like the difference between Avery Williams and Darnell Sankey. Williams is good, no doubt. Sankey is great.

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Bien sûr, Maciocia aura de grandes décisions à prendre. Il sait très qu’il sera impossible de ramener tous les joueurs dans le nid, alors que plusieurs sont à la recherche d’un nouveau contrat.

C’est le cas notamment des piliers défensifs Tyrice Beverette, Darnell Sankey et Shawn Lemon.

«C’est trois dossiers que nous avons commencé à adresser. Il y a du travail à faire, l’organisation aimerait qu’ils soient de retour et ces joueurs veulent revenir aussi. On a quand même du temps devant nous, mais on aimerait régler les dossiers rapidement», a déclaré le DG des Moineaux.

Advenant que l’un de ces trois joueurs ne parvienne pas à s’entendre avec la formation montréalaise, est-ce que les Alouettes pourraient se tourner vers Mathieu Betts ?

«Mathieu est sous contrat [avec les Lions de la Colombie-Britannique], donc je ne peux pas en parler. Mais la priorité en ce moment, c’est de prendre soin de nos joueurs. Je crois que nous ne serons pas actifs beaucoup, car nous avons déjà notre noyau.»

Si jamais Lemon, Sankey ou Beverette optaient pour une autre destination, les Alouettes pourraient vouloir se reprendre en attirant l’excellent Mathieu Betts à Montréal.

**Il **est encore sous contrat (jusqu’au 13 février avec les Lions) », a répondu Maciocia avec prudence. **

« La priorité sera de prendre soin de notre noyau. S’il reste de l’argent, on verra. Mais, chose certaine, on sera moins actif sur le marché de l’autonomie car on a un bon noyau », a enchaîné le DG alors que Betts pourrait facilement devenir une exception.

It doesn’t make him a better back, but the salary-cap is a reality and it makes him better “value-for-money”.

This is a bit cold-hearted, but for PR purposes I could see them re-signing him to a lesser contract … but I could also see having an open competition at TC and releasing Stanback then if he is beaten out.

Upgrades generally mean more money, and if the OL is upgraded it might also mean less need to spend as much at RB … no doubt the two roles are very symbiotic.

Danny has said that it will be impossible to re-sign all the potential free agents; it will help if some of the players that they want to re-sign are given signing bonuses in December 2023, even if it exceeds the approved cap. Would help in 2024 to sign 1 or 2 free agents.

Here are the present potential free agents that I expect won’t be re-signed for 2024:

-Vincent Desjardins N DL
-Greg Ellingson A WR
-Avery Ellis A DL
-Ciante Evans A DB
-Walter Fletcher A RB. Unless Stanback is not re-signed.
-Jake Harty N WR
-Nafees Lyon A DB
-Najee Murray A DB
-James Tuck N FB

While already signed, I will not be surprised if these 2 players are not invited to training camp:

-Sean Jamieson N OL. Reasons are his injuries.
-Almondo Sewell A DT. Reasons are his age, decrease in his production-DT and sacks-. Will return if Danny can’t find a good DT free agent at not too high a price.


Those who don’t think the Als should sign Betts, like my good friend Richard, will like this story:

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Tomas Jack-Kurdyla would be a great add as RG. Still young, local and he had a good season


I do think Ciante Evans will be back. He’s reliable and our secondary are mostly young players

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I’m on the fence with Ciante. He’s a good veteran player. Having him back wouldn’t be bad. But we have quality depth at DB – guys like Reed and Rodgers who started plenty of games for us this year due to injury. I think we’d likely be fine even if Evans left.


Likely all depends on the $$$$$


I don’t think Ciante will cost to much

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Ciante would not cost much, but he did miss games with injuries and there are many younger players on the roster.


Here is the 3 players I would like to sign :

Mike Rose
Thomas Jack-Kurduyla*
Charbel Dabire*

I will guess that Maciocia will give Stanback 2 options when they meet.

  1. Sign a reduced contract, perhaps with incentives, and come to camp to compete for a job with no guarantee the job is yours.

  2. Test free agency to see if there is perhaps a better opportunity for you out there.


Sounds fair.


I totally agree with your options, Sheldon. I am inclined to think that Stanback will choose option 1; I expect that he will accept or will have to accept a reduced amount between $45,000 and $50,000 on his 2023 salary of $160,000.


Stanback only gained 800 yards this year, some of that was injury, some being held back by Maas, scheme, blocking etc. But that was almost half of what Oliviera got while making considerably more than him in salary. I have a hard time seeing FA getting him even back to this year’s salary. Running backs are a dime a dozen and the only team I can really think is in dire need of a feature back is BC. There will have a hard time keeping Betts and a couple of their star receivers, let alone giving WS top dollar. I just don’t see that he’ll have a lot of options. I feel badly for him, but the combination of his position, his output and his age will not be leverage for him.

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