The Montreal Alouettes have emerged as a big player on the CFL free-agent market and that has miffed one of their former stars.
The Als have reportedly signed cornerback Dwight Anderson, a CFL all-star last season with the Calgary Stampeders, and Canadian safety Tad Crawford, formerly of the B.C. Lions.
But the Anderson signing in particular has ticked off running back Avon Cobourne, who is shopping himself on the free-agent market that opened at 12:01 a.m. EST time Wednesday.
Cobourne has reached out to several team’s fans on Twitter, then blasted Montreal for their signings.
“ALS let me go to free agency and the pick up D Anderson?” Cobourne wrote. “Great team guy this guy and a guy that fights with his teammates.. That guy.. Lmbo”
The Edmonton Eskimos were the big winners early in the free-agent frenzy. Shortly after the market opened, the Eskimos signed two Canadians, offensive tackle Brian Ramsay and defensive tackle Jermaine Reid, both from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Eskimos did lose Canadian linebacker Tim St. Pierre to the Stampeders.
“Tim is a young non-import linebacker, long-snapper and special-teams player,” said Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel. “He will provide excellent depth for our football team as a linebacker and long-snapper and will provide help on our coverage teams, which were an issue for our club at times last season.”
The Stamps have holes to fill at cornerback with Anderson going to the Alouettes and Brandon Browner signing an NFL deal.
They are still in the running for Ticats defensive back Geoff Tisdale, who is basically the only veteran import left.
Shortly before the deadline, the Toronto Argonauts signed import defensive tackle Kevin Huntley, who would have been one of the most sought-after players on the market.
Cobourne could be going to Hamilton to help offset its losses of Ramsay, Reid, receiver Chris Bauman (Edmonton) and left tackle Alexandre Gauthier (Saskatchewan).
Despite Cobourne’s comments, the Alouettes are excited to have a shutdown corner in Anderson.
"He has been one of the top DBs in the league over the last couple of years,” said Alouettes GM Jim Popp. “He is fearless in his approach and plays a physical style game. He can help bring our already good secondary, to another level.”
Free agent tracker
DL Kevin Huntley — Toronto (Toronto)
OL Brian Ramsay — Edmonton (Hamilton)
DL Jermaine Reid — Edmonton (Hamilton)
LB Tim St. Pierre — Calgary (Edmonton)
CB Dwight Anderson — Montreal (Calgary)