The Montreal Alouettes re-signed one of the best defensive players in the league in linebacker Chip Cox to a three year contract.
Cox was to be a free agent in February, and is one of the most important players the Alouettes had to lock up. The Alouettes still have S.J. Green, Duron Carter and Bear Woods as impending free agents.
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In a salary cap world, it might not be possible to re-sign all three of them, not even thinking about the fact that Carter is almost a shoo-in for – at the very least – a tryout in the NFL. I think his talent and his last name get him a roster spot somewhere.
The Alouettes top priorities have to be re-signing Green and Woods. Last year, they had linebacker Shea Emry sign in Toronto which allowed Woods to emerge as an all-star and the top defensive player in the Eastern Division. I don’t think they will have as much luck replacing Woods.
Because the CFL doesn’t release player salaries – or even team totals – we don’t know how much room the Alouettes have to play with. If it comes down to Woods or Green, the choice is actually easy: Green.
It’s a possibility that the Alouettes go from having two of the best receivers in the league to none. It’s possible that an offence that was already struggling will be relying on Brandon London – and maybe another free agent signing – to be their top receivers. That would be a huge blow.
Green proved in the East Final how good he was. He had three touchdowns and deserves a big contract, but again, we don’t know the Alouettes situation. But one thing is clear, if there’s a way to get a deal done, Green needs to be back next season.
Last year, it came down to Josh Bourke or Shea Emry in terms of big name free-agents for the Alouettes. This year, Cox is already locked up but the Alouettes are still staring at Green and Woods as major impending free agents – we haven’t even looked at other role players whose contracts are up.
One down, two to go.