Montreal Alouettes Release Troy Smith


It wasn’t supposed to end like this. Troy Smith was poised to be the quarterback of the present – and future – of the Montreal Alouettes. He almost led them to a playoff victory over the eventual Grey Cup bound Hamilton Tiger Cats.

Now, he is a free agent.

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Smith was a victim of circumstance. He struggled this season in a new offence with his fourth offensive coordinator (Mike Miller, Doug Berry, Rick Worman and Ryan Dinwiddie) in one calendar year. Add that to the fact that he didn’t have the best play calling and was replacing an irreplaceable legend with an organization used to winning and he was in a no-win situation.

I still believe in Smith’s CFL career, even though it appears on thin ice. I think he would have been a better back up option to Alex Brink, but Smith – who signed a three-year contract extension before the season – was likely being paid more than a backup should and in a CFL cap world, that doesn’t fly.

Add that to the fact that the relationship soured when the team forced him onto the six-game injured list which reports said disappointed him. Add that to the emergence of Jonathan Crompton and addition of Jerrod Johnson to the practice roster and there was no need for a fifth quarterback once Smith’s stint on the injured list was over.

The risk remains that Smith may come back to haunt the Alouettes for their lack of patience, especially if Ottawa is the team that picks him up. But if Crompton keeps winning, despite subpar numbers, the Alouettes won’t worry too much.

The fact remains that all Smith needed was more time. However, an Alouettes team used to winning wasn’t going to allow him that time. Not when they had other quarterbacks waiting and were used to getting Hall of Fame play from Anthony Calvillo for 15 years.

It’s odd that a team would throw so much attention to the quarterback and then not give him the time he needs, but with the Alouettes struggling and the East division open for anyone, the team needed to make the change and right now it’s hard to argue with that move.