An ALSternative look at Day Two of 2021 CFL Free Agency

After making a pretty big splash into the free agency pool yesterday, the Montreal Alouettes decided to shop locally on this second day of CFL new contract action.

Perhaps the worst-kept secret in the history of Canadian football is current Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia was the former football head coach at the Universite de Montreal. In his time there, he recruited some very talented players and appeared in three Vanier Cup games, winning the championship in 2014. In addition to his own squad, Maciocia got to see a wealth of other talented young players up close and personal.

Was he keeping notes on all these players in the hopes that one day he’d be back in the CFL, at his “dream job” of running the Alouettes? Only Danny can truly answer that question. Obviously, meeting the ratio is one of, if not THE, toughest tasks a CFL general manager has. There’s a ton of great Canadian-born talent looking to be employed in this league. And as far as I know, there’s no rule against loading up your team with players from just one province!

La Belle Province produces some extremely good football players; in fact, the past two Super Bowl winning teams featured a player that started his football career at a Quebec university. So one might say that if you’re going to fill your war chest with some powerful weapons, look no further than the province of Quebec. It’s a strategy that Danny Maciocia is certainly willing to implement in this current reign as Alouettes GM.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at today’s free agent signings by the Montreal Alouettes.

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Jason Lauzon-Séguin

This former Ottawa RedBlack balled out big-time for the Universite de Laval’s Rouge et Or and was seen as a major commodity in his draft year. In fact, I actually expected the Alouettes to select him in his draft year. This is what I wrote about Jason in 2016:

Not only is he a top-tier talent, he’s also very much a local boy. Born and raised in Montreal’s West Island, Lauzon-Seguin has succeeded at every level that he’s played at and would shore up Montreal’s talented All-Canadian offensive line. Last year’s first round pick Jacob Ruby will be ready to step in for the departed Josh Bourke and with Lauzon-Seguin in the wings, the very rich will get even richer.

The ALSternative: 2016 CFL Draft Preview

Not too much has changed since then, other than Jason winning a Grey Cup in his first season and appearing in another championship game two years later. Montreal has strived to make this offensive line of theirs as All-Canadian as possible. Now in blue/red and with Rouge et Or legend Luc Brodeur-Jourdain as his coach, the sky is truly the limit for this Pointe-Claire native.

Pierre-Luc Caron

Another former Rouge et Or (and thus, multiple Vanier Cup winner!), Caron brings a wealth of championship experience to the Alouettes. Drafted by Calgary in 2016, Caron has also played in two Grey Cup and claimed his ring in 2018. This 27 year old has been a rock on special teams, leading many to wonder if this signing is to eventually replace current long snapper Martin Bedard.

Marty is still one of the very best at his position and the lone remaining member of the back-to-back Grey Cup winning team. But he is not a young man anymore with his 37th birthday about a month away. One must wonder if this year’s training camp will see a passing of the torch from one talented Quebecois to another.

Kerfalla-Emmanuel Exumé

What’s this? ANOTHER Grey Cup winner from the province of Quebec! Maudite!!

Kerfella was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019 and like many others, made his bones on special teams. The youngster racked up 25 specials teams tackles and was able to help Winnipeg break their 30 year Grey Cup drought that same year. He’ll have a tough time trying to get reps in Montreal’s secondary, but Exume has a lot of football left in him and a very big supporter in the Alouettes’ front office.

Alexandre Chevrier

After a stellar career at the Universite de Sherbrooke, Alexandre found himself drafted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2017. Perhaps they were hoping that staying in a green uniform would work wonders for the Pointe-Claire native! But alas, Chevrier just kind of blended into the scenary at Mosaic Stadium and didn’t see much of the field. The hope is that being back home will be what rekindles the magic Alexandre had while in Sherbrooke, where he posted some excellent numbers playing for the Vert et Or.

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So yes, this team has even MORE Quebec-born players. If that shocks you, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. These days when it comes to assembling talent, it seems like everyone goes with the devil they know versus the devil they don’t know.

This is nothing new. When former Als GM Jim Popp went to the Toronto Argonauts, he made sure there was several former Alouettes on the field and among the coaching staff. Current Edmonton GM Brock Sunderland has employed several former RedBlacks players and coaches that he helped cultivate during his time in the nation’s capital. So much so that people have suggested calling the nameless team the GreenGolds as a nod to Brock’s penchant for talent with that RedBlack DNA.

And thus, Danny Maciocia will no doubt set records for most Québec-born players signed in the history of the Canadian Football League. And if they played under him at the U de M, so much the better. He has signed players from other places as well, especially yesterday.

Maciocia’s first tenure as a CFL GM didn’t fare so well. Surely in his time away at the RESQ, he has had time to reflect and determine what he needed to do if given another opportunity in a team’s front office. Maciocia knows that this is his best opportunity to prove that he belongs in the CFL. I don’t think he feels comfortable enough to coast by on signing fellow Québécois.

These are some very talented players that are now wearing red and blue. They are expected to go along nicely with the other very talented players wearing red and blue. Regardless of the fact that just happen to come from other cities in North America.

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That’s all for now. Will Day Three of CFL Free Agency bring any more transactions? Is there even any money left in the piggy bank? If so, The ALSternative is where you’ll find out all about it!

Be sure to follow along on Twitter for any and all immediate reaction to moves made by this Alouettes organization. There is still a lot of talent out there, looking for a place to call home. We’ll see if the 514 is anyone’s new area code sooner rather than later.

As always, thanks for reading.

GO ALS GO!!!