Being traded for a late-round draft pick is almost akin to being banished for a roll of tape in the CFL.
But Kelly Malveaux did not seem to take offence when Montreal dealt the veteran import defensive back to Winnipeg for a sixth-round choice.
"They never told me the reason behind it but they had somebody that was newer and younger coming into play and they felt they didn't need me any more," Malveaux surmised yesterday. "I had a rough game in the Grey Cup last year but, if you go on our board, I had the most production in the secondary last year. But that's neither here nor there."
Although the Blue Bombers are preparing to host Montreal this Saturday, Malveaux bears no ill will towards the team that surrendered him so cheaply.
"There was no bitterness," he claimed. "Me and (Alouettes GM Jim) Popp have a good relationship. When I got the call, he spoke to me as a man and I spoke to him as a man. We parted ways as such."
But Malveaux, who had also been with Calgary and Saskatchewan, did start to wonder what the future would hold.
"That's the nature of this business," said Malveaux, 29. "When you start getting older and they feel you're a step slower or something, they bring in somebody newer and younger in, and faster and stronger. But I think my biggest asset to any team is my veteran leadership and my knowledge of the game."
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Arizona product with the flowing dreadlocks has certainly proven he is worth more than a sixth-rounder.
"I'm very happy with Kelly," said Doug Berry, who was in Montreal with him before being hired as the head knock here.
"I've always liked Kelly. I've liked his commitment to the game. He's a very good professional player and he's very knowledgeable. That sometimes works against him but when Kelly's disciplined and uses his knowledge to his advantage, it really makes him a very good football player.
"And he's communicating well to the guys playing next to him. He takes charge."
Malveaux is coming off perhaps his finest game in Blue and Gold, recording five defensive tackles against the Argos in Toronto -- that included throwing vaunted tailback Ricky Williams for a loss.
"You've got to step up as a little man sometimes to make those tough tackles in open field and I missed a couple," he said. "But, at the same time, I think I made some crucial plays when the opportunity presented itself."
Although Malveaux feels rejuvenated now, he did wonder what he would be getting into when he first joined what was the worst defence in CFL history last season.
"That was in the back of my mind," he admitted. "I knew the defence here was the bottom of the barrel but when coach Berry first talked to me, he told me the biggest thing they were trying to do was to try to solidify the defence. I came into a good situation. I've got some good guys around me and I just want to do my job and be the best at it."
But Montreal will be another high-octane test for the Blue defenders.
"They are worthy adversaries and we've got to step up to the challenge and get the job done," Malveaux said.