The Montreal Alouettes might be last in the Canadian Football League’s Eastern Division at one win and four losses. However over the last two days they have made blockbuster trades with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers to try and improve their team now.
The first deal came Sunday evening between the Alouettes and Tiger-Cats. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was traded from Hamilton to Montreal with offensive linemen Tony Washington and Landon Rice for defensive end Jamaal Westerman, wide receiver Chris Williams and the first round picks in the CFL Draft in 2020 and 2022. The second deal came on Monday between the Alouettes and Blue Bombers. Winnipeg traded slotback Adarius Bowman to Montreal for the eighth round draft pick in the 209 CFL Draft.
Manziel, who is the biggest name in the trades, never saw any regular season action with the Tiger-Cats. He was behind Jeremiah Masoli on the depth chart in Hamilton for a Tiger-Cats squad that is 2-3 over its first five games.
Washington is joining his fifth CFL team. He previously played with the Calgary Stampeders in 2011, the Toronto Argonauts in 2012 and 2013, the Edmonton Eskimos from 2014-2017 and Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2017-18. He won a Grey Cup with the Argonauts in 2012 and with the Eskimos in 2015.
Rice has played 58 games with the Tiger-Cats the last five seasons. A native of Brandon, Manitoba, Rice attended the University of Manitoba.
Westerman played three straight seasons with the Blue Bombers from 2015-2017 before signing with the Alouettes on February 14, 2018. In 52 career games, he has had 138 tackles, 35 sacks and four forced fumbles.
Williams is returning to the Tiger-Cats after winning the 2011 CFL Rookie of the Year with Hamilton. That year with the Tiger-Cats, he caught 70 passes for 1064 yards and six touchdowns. In 2012, Williams was even better with the Tiger-Cats as he caught 83 passes for career highs in yards receiving (1298) and touchdowns (11). He then moved on to the NFL, where he played seven games for the Chicago Bears in 2014. Upon his return from the NFL, Williams played two seasons with the Ottawa Red Blacks in 2015 and 2016, the British Columbia Lions in 2017 and the Alouettes in 2018. He would win a Grey Cup with the Red Blacks in 2016.
Bowman is in his 11th CFL season and is joining his fourth CFL team after playing one season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2008, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2009, 2010 and 2018 and the Edmonton Eskimos from 2011 to 2017. It is with the Eskimos, Bowman had his greatest impact. He led the CFL with 1456 receiving yards in 2014, 1761 receiving yards in 2016, and led the CFL in receptions for three straight years from 2014-2016. Also from 2014-2016, Bowman was a CFL All-Star and won a Grey Cup with Edmonton in 2015.