Alouettes sign Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba

The Montreal Alouettes have signed ratio-breaking Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba to a three-year contract.

Muamba visited Montreal in late March as a free agent.

This is Muamba’s second stint with the Alouettes. After returning north of the border from the NFL in 2015, Muamba signed a lucrative two-year deal with Montreal where he played four games in 2016. Then-general manager Jim Popp shopped Muamba prior to a $55,000 bonus that was due on Feb. 16, 2016 before releasing him that winter.

Saskatchewan, one of the teams that considered trading for Muamba, signed him six months later following a stint with the Dallas Cowboys. Following two seasons in Saskatchewan, the Riders put Muamba on the trade block in mid-February but he became a free agent after the Riders released him before an off-season payment that was due on Feb. 15.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were one of several teams interested in Muamba but general manager Kyle Walters said in March he did not expect to get a deal done after the slow pace of negotiations – a hallmark of Muamba’s agent Jonathon Hardaway – and the steep asking price led him to believe that the 29-year-old would take his talents elsewhere.

“We presented an offer prior to Henoc coming out. We were prepared to make Henoc the second highest paid Canadian on our team and what we deemed as fair,” Walters said. “We were certainly not prepared to offer Henoc Muamba a contract higher than Andrew Harris (set to make just under $200,000 for 2018), which is what they were asking for and it was not going to happen from our end for a multitude of reasons. We’ve been told that the offer that we put together was not going to get the job done. So Henoc won’t be coming here based on the communication that I’ve had.”

The move makes sense for Montreal given their relative lack of quality Canadian talent. But after already investing heavily in several free agents this off-season, the big question will be just how much it cost general manager Kavis Reed to land him.

Last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders Muamba had his best year since the CFL all-star campaign he put together in 2013. He played in 17 games making 82 tackles, three forced fumbles and two interceptions to earn the Riders Most Outstanding Canadian award.

Overall Muamba has played in 73 career games since Winnipeg selected him No. 1 overall in the 2011 CFL Draft. He has recorded 267 tackles, 74 special teams tackles, 11 forced fumbles, six sacks, four interceptions and one touchdown.

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24 Comments on Alouettes sign Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba

  1. As expected!
    The Als have made some great moves in the off season.
    On paper I see them battling the Ticats and the west cross-over team for that final playoff spot.

  2. Tom calder // April 12, 2018 at 8:41 am //

    Another quality piece to the 2018 puzzle. Much better talent assembled than last year, (not that that’s saying much). With quarterback play, The Als may surprise. Yet the reed bashers will be out in full force

  3. Ridersfan // April 12, 2018 at 8:55 am //

    Lol. Yeah this is a Kavis Reed led team… Henoc Muamba! Enjoy last place with the last place Allouettes! ..Toronto is going to be better! Hamilton is going to be better! Ottawa is going to be better.. Montreal?? Well.. they should have let go of Reed at the end of last season.. they didn’t and I expect another bad season, possibly 3-15 again in Montreal.. just reality!

    • I guarantee you put “ridersfan” as your name just to giggle to yourself. The season hasn’t started so pipe down.

  4. Edward Leslie // April 12, 2018 at 9:05 am //

    Tom: I’m a Kavis Reed basher, but I have to admit he’s added a lot of talent to the Alouettes.
    Muamba and Jamahl Westerman are both ratio busters. Plus they have the first pick in the draft.
    Add Chris Williams, Patrick Lavoie, Tommie Campbell, Mitchell White, Dominique Ellis, Joe Burnett and Josh Freeman, and the talent seemsxto have definitely improved.
    The question marks are Head Coach Mike Sherman and Quarterback Josh Freeman. They both have had success in the NFL, but have been away from football for a while. Plus neither has any CFL background.
    The loss of defensive leader Kyries Hebert and possible retirement of Nik Lewis are two other negatives.
    It’s going to be interesting to see how they do in 2018.

  5. Blue rules // April 12, 2018 at 9:18 am //

    Hope you get ALL your money up front this time, otherwise as they say, “stupid is as stupid does” congrats to Montreal.

  6. Just saying // April 12, 2018 at 9:32 am //

    Well the Dfence does look better on paper but the offence is just putrid. And the defence won’t be together next year because of the cap. This is definitely a kavis read team. Zero scouting zero coaching. I predict like many others last place.

  7. Paul Bomber // April 12, 2018 at 9:33 am //

    But 3Down…. what does Johnny Football think of this?

  8. greenenvy? // April 12, 2018 at 9:52 am //

    I wonder if ol’ “Double Dip” Sherman took time out on his coaching duties in the YCFL to congratulate Muamba. Good catch for the Als but may have the highest priced D in the league. That side looks okay but I fear the offence is still a big problem. No, losing Nik at this point is not a negative. I respect Nik but time to go & not risk embarrassing yourself. It’s got to be clear to most people he doesn’t have it any more. Make room for a younger guy. As for Hebert, great season, in great shape but at his age chances are better than not he’s due for a drop off. I don’t blame Als for not re-signing him. Asking him to take a reduced role is not a big ask.

  9. Yes, the Als are making some big signings, but paying bigs bucks for their additions. Maybe Montreal will overtake Saskatchewan as the team that violates cap rules the most. Annnnd, they haven’t even signed Johnny Fool-Ball yet! If Manziel refuses to sign an entry level deal with Hamilton, they’ll trade his rights to Reed and the Als. They’re not getting Kaepernick, so they’re compelled to take him. Desperate times in Mo’real!

  10. Wood horse // April 12, 2018 at 10:20 am //

    This is a good signing, Montreal HAS POTENTIAL, to field a solid defense this season. Signing young ratio changing Canadians is always smart. Riderfans should be screaming mad over Jones allowing him to walk whole signing old, expensive imports.

  11. So – in the CFL, and 3 year deal means he will play this year and then decide at bonus time if they will keep him or not

  12. Gainer Jr // April 12, 2018 at 10:23 am //

    On paper the Als D looks like it could cause some havoc for other teams, but as pointed out their O looks atrocious. We are going to have to wait to see the product the Als put on the field (just like all other 8 teams). But I do see them getting the 1st pick in the 2019 draft. Congrats on the signing Muamba, but I don’t see you in Montreal for 3 years as you will be discarded when your bonus is due…again. I sometimes contemplate what I would want more, my name on the GC or an extra 40K…and every time it’s the ring & GC. It looks like he choose the money but won’t know until the season actually starts. Good luck in Montreal Henoc. Is it June yet

    • Paul Bomber // April 12, 2018 at 1:03 pm //

      You said a mouth full… the Montreal O will continue to look up at the rest of the league until they get a decent pivot. BUT… they did dump Durrant at least, so there’s hope.
      Nobody has signed Drew Tate yet … I know the guy is about as fragile as a butterfly wing, but at least he would give them a fighting chance. Certainly be an upgrade from Durrant.

      • Sure their defense is loaded with talent now but I would much rather pay QB Drew Tate that $160-$180G to have at least some insurance at the QB position. I just think it’s way too big of a risk going into the season with only Freeman & Shlitz as your QBs. With a solid offensive line Tate could be quite effective

  13. Edward Leslie // April 12, 2018 at 10:52 am //

    greenenvy: I don’t see how 73 catches shows that Nik Lewis is done, especially with Darian Durant being the QB. Now Durant DID look done. No argument from me moving him.
    If thick Nik went back to Calgary,or joined the Eskimos, he could get to 100 receptions.
    Put that fork away, he’s not done!

  14. dale van allen // April 12, 2018 at 11:07 am //

    Hopeful signing. Still more concerned about he pivot.

  15. Tom calder // April 12, 2018 at 11:59 am //

    Freeman was once an all star, in nfl pro bowl. Sounds like he became a head case, poor attitude, entitled, undisciplined etc. But he’s 30 now and if his maturity and humility can catch up to his physical talents, maybe the als have their QB

  16. I thought only one year deals were being signed given the upcoming CBA. Sup with this three yr dealio?

  17. Henoc goes from one bottom feeder in the sliders to another bottom feeder in the ALS ,this guy clearly doesn’t want any chance at a ring

  18. Phil Miller // April 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm //

    There is going to be some talent and salary cut from the Als before the season starts now.

  19. NOT A BANDWAGON JUMPER // April 12, 2018 at 6:03 pm //

    So, they stiffed him first time for $55K, then Sask stiffed him for $35K, so, what does he do? Go back to the one who stiffed him for the most money! Logical, of course, this way his agent maximizes his share. Muamba is going after the money, and rightly so, but back to the team that cut him earlier over the same money?
    Weird, but this is the CFL…
    Too bad the bombers shouldn’t have him back, but money rules over common sense.

  20. Edward Leslie // April 13, 2018 at 9:33 am //

    Phil: You’re right, the Alouettes have alteady cut veterans Kyries Hebert, Darian Durant, Samuel Giguere and Keith Shologan, but there likely will be more.
    It doesn’t look like they’ll bring back Nik Lewis and Chip Cox. Stefan Logan, Xavier Fulton and Kristian Matte might get released too.

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