Roosevelt, Matte, Reid headline long list of Als extensions

MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes continue to scratch pending free agents off their list before the end of the year.  On Friday, the club announced it had signed seven players, five of which were set to hit the market in February 2021.

The club extended veteran Canadian offensive lineman Kristian Matte, American defensive back Greg Reid,  American adefensive lineman Antonio Simmons, as well as American receivers Dante Absher, Namaan Roosevelt, Fabian Guerra and Teo Redding.

“We are happy to keep announcing these new signings, demonstrating once more that the core of our team wants to stick together and win the championship in Montreal,” declared Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “Kristian is another example of a veteran who has this organization’s success to heart and wants to help the team have success, as he is an important cog on our offensive line.”

Roosevelt spent five seasons in the CFL, all of them with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The 32-year-old played in all 18 games with the Green and White in 2019, making 77 catches for 946 yards and a touchdown. During his career, Roosevelt appeared in 67 games, reeling in 301 balls for 4,134 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Buffalo, NY native has been named a CFL All-Star on one occasion (2017) and has a pair of 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt.  Prior to his time in the CFL, Roosevelt had two separate tenures with the Buffalo Bills as well as the Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions.

Matte (6’4”, 296 lbs.) will be entering his 11th season with the Alouettes after receiving a first nomination as an East Division All-Star in 2019. The St-Hubert, QC native played the team’s 18 games in 2019 and was voted the Alouettes Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for a fourth consecutive year. On top of limiting opposing teams to 39 quarterback sacks, Matte helped create the openings that allowed the team to finish in second place in the CFL with 2,236 rushing yards.

The 35-year-old joined the Alouettes in 2010 after the team drafted him in the first round (7th overall). The former Concordia University Stinger is in constant communication with quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. on every play and played an important role in the latter’s successes last season.

Reid (5’9″, 190 lbs.) was voted a CFL All-Star in his first season in the CFL in 2019, as the defensive back completed the season with 71 defensive tackles, good for third place on the team. He knocked down ten passes, a summit on the team, which puts him among the CFL leaders in that category. The former Florida State Seminole also made three interceptions, while forcing a fumble and recovering one.

Simmons (6’3”, 246 lbs.) played in all of the Alouettes 18 games in 2019, his first season in the CFL. The 24-year-old registered 45 defensive tackles, three quarterback sacks and forced one fumble. He previously played at the collegiate level with the Georgia Tech University Yellow Jackets for four seasons where he amassed 83 tackles, 16 for losses and seven sacks.

Absher (6’3”, 180 lbs.) joined the Alouettes in 2019 and spent a good part of the season on the team’s practice roster. The 27-year receiver saw action in the Alouettes’ last two regular season games during which he caught eight passes for 84 yards and one touchdown. During the Eastern Semi Final against the Edmonton Eskimos, the former Glenville State Pioneer amassed 60 receiving yards on five receptions.

Guerra (5’11”, 200 lbs.) played with the Columbus Destroyers in the Arena Football League, in 2019, where he was named Rookie of the Year. In 2018, he won the National Arena League championship with the Carolina Cobras. He also spent time in the Alliance of American Football with the Memphis Express. The 24-year-old receiver from Miami, FL played college with the Fairmont State University Fighting Falcons where he was voted to the 2015 and 2016 All-MEC Second Team, and to the 2014 All-MEC First Team. He ended his collegiate career with 233 catches, 2,805 receiving yards, and 20 touchdowns in 30 games. The receptions were a Fairmont State record, while the yards and touchdowns ranked second and third in school history, respectively.

Redding (6’1”, 181 lbs.) signed deals with the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and the Washington Football Club following his collegiate career with the Bowling Green University Falcons. The 26-year-old played with the New York Guardians in the XFL this spring, making five catches for 102 yards in five games.

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