Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Alouettes Release Anwar Stewart, What is Next
The Montreal Alouettes have decided to part ways with longtime member Anwar Stewart.
A couple weeks ago, Stewart admitted that his days were numbered in Montreal. But regardless of the outcome, the Alouettes have lost a respected leader in the locker room.
What does the future hold for Stewart?
A source of mine told me that Stewart will explore his options, but he will first contact the Toronto Argonauts. He does have a history with the coaching staff, especially new defensive coordinator, Chris Jones, who coached him in Montreal.
Stewart’s best output was during Jones' tenure with the Alouettes, where he amassed 40 of 66 sacks under his tutelage.
There isn’t a doubt that Stewart could still contribute on a CFL roster. With the Argonauts overhauling their personnel, it would be a perfect match for them to sign him. Furthermore, he would be able to teach his teammates the frenetic defense that Jones will employ this year.
As the Alouettes move on from Stewart, their priority is to replenish their defensive line with bodies.
With Jeff Robertshaw also given his walking papers, general manager Jim Popp could address this situation by re-signing Jermaine McElveen, who wasn’t a happy camper. In the last media session of the year, he expressed his frustration of the limited playing time he received.
Moreover, the team has high hopes for incoming player Daunte Akra, who they figure could be an excellent tag team partner for fellow teammate John Bowman.
If the Alouettes opt to go through free agency, as stated in a previous article, they could go for the homerun and try to lure away Hamilton Tiger-Cats stalwart, Justin Hickman if his attempt of making the Indianapolis Colts roster does not pan out for him.
Hickman would be the most highly sought out defensive player and could garner a serious payday. But given he will only be 27 years old in July, he has been the best defensive lineman in the CFL.
It could be an excellent signing for the Alouettes to get him, and weaken their division rival.
Finally, if Popp remains patient, and sees no one in the free agent market is worth the dollar value. This year’s CFL draft is loaded with defensive linemen, led by Tyrone Crawford of Boise State, Arnaud Gascon-Nadon of Laval University, and Akiem Hicks of Regina University who would surely garner NFL attention, and could already be on a CFL negotiation list.
Out of the three, I believe the Alouettes have a strong chance in landing Gascon-Nadon. He fits the profile they look for in a defensive player, he has great length, good speed, and is a local product.
Right now, as the Alouettes move away from the old guard, a new chapter is about to begin because these are no longer your father’s team
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Photo credit: cbc.ca