Henoc Muamba believes the ‘future is bright’ for the Alouettes

Bill Beacon, Canadian Press

Henoc Muamba saw the veteran players the Montreal Alouettes signed this off-season and decided he may as well join them.

The high-profile free agent inked a three-year contract worth $185,000 per season, including bonuses, with the Alouettes on Thursday, giving Montreal a ratio-changing Canadian linebacker.

General manager Kavis Reed has made extensive roster changes after last seasons’ 3-15 debacle, including the acquisition of Canadian defensive lineman Jamaal Westerman and American defensive backs Joe Burnett, Tommie Campbell and Dominique Ellis and receiver Chris Williams.

“I saw some of the guys they brought in and some of the guys that were already here and I’m excited,” said Muamba, 29, who played four games for Montreal late in the 2015 campaign. “I think the future is bright for this team.

“A lot of changes were made since my last little stint here and I’m excited about that.”

Muamba, who was released after two seasons in Saskatchewan despite being the Roughriders’ nominee for the Outstanding Canadian award, was among the CFL’s most sought-after free agents.

He visited Winnipeg, but Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters announced March 20 that Muamba and his agent asked for too much money.

“There was a bunch of teams. I even considered a few teams in the NFL,” said Muamba. “So I took my time and that was one reason it took this long.

“It’s a decision that was really calculated. I spoke to the (Alouettes) coaching staff, the management, and I loved what I was hearing from them.”

He also liked the stability a three-year deal gave his young family, and that the Alouettes look to him to be a leader.

“I’m excited about that,” he said. “It’s going to be a good time.

“I won’t be alone in doing this. Jamaal Westerman is a great leader already. (John) Bowman, everybody knows. He was someone I looked up to before I even started playing in the CFL.”

Muamba brings more than football talent to the Alouettes. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he spent part of his childhood in Montreal and is fluently bilingual, which should help the team’s marketing efforts.

Or as Reed put it: “This is an indication that, holistically, we’re trying to get everything right.

“We wanted to make certain (the team is) stable and can produce sustainable success. Three years shows a commitment from the Montreal Alouettes. It shows commitment to our fan base and to our community. Henoc is committed to getting this right and being part of this rebuild and turn-around.”

Muamba had 82 defensive tackles and two interceptions in 17 games last season with Saskatchewan.

He was drafted first overall by Winnipeg in 2011 from St. Francis Xavier University and spent three seasons with the Blue Bombers before joining the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL in 2014.

In 73 career CFL games, he has 267 defensive tackles, six sacks and four interceptions.

Reed said one of his goals was to add depth to his pool of Canadian talent. The last item left on his free agent list is to sign a Canadian offensive lineman.

But while the roster looks stronger, the Alouettes still aren’t sure who will play the most important position – quarterback. Former NFL starter Josh Freeman, returnees Drew Willy, Matt Shiltz and Antonio Pipkin and others will be assessed at a mini-camp April 16-18 in Vero Beach, Fla.

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58 Comments on Henoc Muamba believes the ‘future is bright’ for the Alouettes

  1. Wood horse // April 12, 2018 at 5:20 pm //

    After spending last season starring into the eyes of a black hole (or Jones dark clothes and sun glasses), anything seems bright.

    • Ridersnhabs // April 13, 2018 at 9:36 pm //

      Your so pathetic, are you still butt hurt because a Chris jones coached team thumped your mighty stamps 45 to 31 in the 2015 west final,.

  2. Dont even know if they have a qb. Knucklehead

  3. Best CFL Fan // April 12, 2018 at 5:44 pm //

    I know I sound like a broken record. But How does this improve the worst offence in the league, possibly worst in league history? except reduce cap available for competent offensive players.

    • Season is still months away. Yet Chris Willams, Pat Lavoie and possibly Mark Chapman certainly fit the bill.

      Reed can thank Jake Harty for backing out. Now his spot can go to Chapman and the NI roster spot went to Henoc which is less of a gamble.

      • Williams could be a game breaker yes but only if he has a QB that can throw him the ball !!!
        Lavoie is good but he won’t be out there for too many plays, he is not a starter that plays every down, a good reliable receiver.

    • I agree, I just can’t see them having success with the 3 QBs who are currently on that roster. They will have to have dominant special teams & defense to have any kind of chance of winning some games

      • They have seven fighting for a job.
        Freeman, Josh
        Garrett Fugate,
        Justin Holman
        Pipkin, Antonio
        Shafnisky, Nick
        Willy, Drew
        Math Shitz

      • But you don’t know that, wait until training camp and the pre-season. Freeman could be a great one, you can’t rule anyone out until we see them in action.

        • How many old-*ss FORMER NFL quarterbacks have come into this league and led their team to ANYTHING?

          Freeman has played but a handful of NFL games in the past 5 years.

          He’s perching. By any measure, he has expired and gone to meet the Football Gods. He’s pining for the fiords. HE IS AN EX-QUARTERBACK!!!

          THE ONLY REASON REED SIGNED HIM WAS AS A CONCESSION TO HIS (FREEMAN’S) AND MANZIEL’S AGENT…to “lubricate” the chance of signing Manziel.

          Typical Kavis: the second that fell apart (or has it?) he had no choice but to fob an EX-QUARTERBACK on Alouettes fans.

          WE ARE NOT BUYING IT!!!!

      • Two years ago the Alouettes had arguably the best defensive squad in the CFL. Unfortunately, they played about 2/3 of the minutes of any given game, mostly because the offensive line (Jacob ^%#[email protected]^* Ruby) couldn’t protect Kevin Glenn, and then Rakeem Cato.

        Did the “d” have the best stats in the league? No…but they were near the top in a lot of categories, despite ZERO support from the offense.

        Will the Alouettes defense be as talented or better this season? Maybe. But with as bad an offensive squad as this looks to be, it’s doubtful the team as a whole will do any better than 2 years ago, or last season’s 3-15 record.

        And so far, their plan on offense appears to rely on Sutton running the ball. Now I’m a firm believer a CFL team needs to run the ball to have success. But that’s running the ball to complement the passing game. NOT replace it altogether.

        This team is a waste of keystrokes.

    • It doesn’t improve the worst offense. They need a QB but Freeman could be the answer or who knows maybe a hidden gem comes out of the training camp.
      As the old saying goes “defense is nice but it’s offense that wins games”

      • With the money they’ve overpaid these defensive players, and the absolute ZERO we have on offence…they d better be prepared to play 50 minutes/game. Reed is incompetent, and every expletive you can imagine me holding back.

  4. just saying // April 12, 2018 at 5:56 pm //

    the future looks bright for this team? i guess what can you say right?

  5. Muamba is their best QB

  6. Some impressive free agent signings….but their season and success will all boil down to whether or not Josh Freeman can make the transition to the CFL and be a solid QB. There’s nobody else on that roster who gives them a chance. If Freeman can be half decent, this team will do some damage in the east……if not, they’ll flounder. Time will tell, but unlike the boneheaded media, I wouldn’t sleep on this team just yet.

    • I can’t see why he can’t make the transition to the CFL, it’s been done by every single current CFL QB.
      Who knows how he will play or if one of the other guys steps up.

  7. Scottsask // April 12, 2018 at 8:21 pm //

    Optimistic, but naive. Good luck Henoc.

  8. Great signing.Go Also go

  9. BC Bomber // April 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm //

    I thought he wanted $200k, wouldn’t sign in the ‘Peg for less.

    • Fan in the stands // April 13, 2018 at 2:23 am //

      That’s right. I think it might have been slightly north of that. Guess he really didn’t want to sign with the Bombers.., no matter what the offer was. No worries. Go Blue!!!

  10. Pennyrocker // April 12, 2018 at 9:15 pm //

    Mumba sounds desperate and was out of options. This is just a show of courage when all else failed go to the first team that screwed him

  11. Rick Cowan // April 12, 2018 at 9:18 pm //

    I still think the Al’s are over the salary cap they will probably have to release someone

  12. he gets 185K INCLUDING bonuses. And bonuses are elusive in this league. So is playoff money in MTL. But keep dreaming Henoc.

  13. greenenvy? // April 12, 2018 at 9:44 pm //

    Oh well, if Reed is trying to “holistically” get everything right, then I’m on board. Now if the Als “thought leader” could take a “deep dive” into the offence, this could be a “game changer”. I’m sure he’s got some other personnel in his “wheelhouse” but maybe stick to some “low hanging fruit” after all the expenses. I can’t argue with paying Muamba after his “conscious uncoupling” with the Riders & applaud Reed’s “organic” approach to building the roster.

  14. Bombs Away // April 12, 2018 at 10:23 pm //

    Good defence, nice signings. but… isn’t there a time when the offence has to go on the field? When Willy Drews is an option at QB would that not make one a little scared? Just wondering.

  15. Al’s have better odds of winning the Superbowl than honouring the the full term of the contract.

  16. Als defense really looks SOLID with this signing which does not surprise me. Hopefully the new guys on offense will jell and do more than their share to get the Als back on top in the east. One of those QBs will rise to the top and turn into a solid starter for them. The mini camp and training camp will settle things with the QB unless a trade is made. Can u say Johnny Football!

    • There is a poll on RDS with over a thousand respondents, 50 percent of fans want no part of Manziel in MOntreal.

      Hamilton can trade him to Saskatchewan.

      • greenenvy? // April 12, 2018 at 10:48 pm //

        There is a poll on RDS with over a thousand respondents, 50 percent of fans WANT a part of Manziel in Montreal. Is that right Putin?

        • And on the other hand….there’s fingers

        • Yes, I think that Putin is one of the “glass is half full or half empty guys”
          Sounds like he was quick to say that half the fans polled on RDS don’t want him, but then he forgot that it also meant that half WANT him…………lol
          Manziel could sell tickets in Montreal and they really need it.

      • So that would mean 50% WANT him in Montreal? that’s a high percentage!!
        That’s probably a bigger percentage than in Hamilton or Saskatchewan.

    • I hope his defense is ready to play 50 minutes/game, because without a starting quarterback, that’s what their OLD *sses are going to have to do.

  17. Jim – do you think they will have cap space for JM ?

  18. True Green // April 12, 2018 at 11:03 pm //

    I was disappointed when Henoc was let go and I wanted to believe he wouldn’t go somewhere just for the money. I’m surprised he didn’t sign with Winnipeg. This seems like a terrible decision. The only upside I see in it for Muamba is the three year commitment but in this league that doesn’t mean much. Such a good talented Canadian sorry to see him go to the bottom of the barrel.

  19. Has won nothing…I repeat, NOTHING. Overrated. Overpaid.

  20. Another team that nobody cares about

  21. Edward Leslie // April 13, 2018 at 4:47 am //

    Philski: That just means that he’s not a one man team. He can’t do it all on his own.
    As for being overpaid and overrated, how many other players have accululated 267 defensive tackles and are still in the prime of their career?
    What about 82 tackles in 2017 makes you immediately dismiss Muamba? Ignorance I suppose.

  22. They typical bumpkins maligning a player who has never stepped a foot wrong or disrespected a fan.

  23. Gainer Jr // April 13, 2018 at 10:34 am //

    They will dismiss Muamba along with other over priced players when/if they find a starting QB and have to pay him/her starting QB salary. All their money is in the Defence, which will have to change (guessing next year) when they realize they need a QB to win in this league. 3 year contract just went to a 1 year contract with no bonuses. Hope the Als prove me wrong. Be nice to have 9 stong teams in the CFL.

  24. Montreal’s looking better, now only the roiders remain a tire fire.

    • Ridersnhabs // April 13, 2018 at 9:43 pm //

      Wow I bet you were up all night thinking up that derogatory term for the riders . You couldn’t wait to post and spring it on everyone even if the story has nothing to do with the riders giggling like a school girl . Small minds , small small simple minds .

  25. Can’t help wondering how’s Muamba’s arm? Can he read defenses and throw a 50 yd pass? How’s his speed out of the pocket…his vision downfield?
    Maybe Muamba can be that precious Canadian Quarterback everyone’s trying to groom?

    WTF is Kavis Reed doing signing Muamba when this team has ZERO starting quarterbacks?

  26. Edward Leslie // April 14, 2018 at 1:56 am //

    Nostredummass:
    You never say WHO the Alouettes should get as quarterback. If you were G.M., who would you try and get from THOSE WHO ARE AVAILABLE?
    It would appear that the only candidates are Johnny Manziel (who’s rights belong to Hamilton) and injury prone veteran Drew Tate. I’m not convinced either is better than Josh Freeman.
    I’d bring back Jonathan Crompton myself. Unspectacular, but he seemed to get victories. Isn’t that the best stat?
    Anyway, offence might get fans excited, but defence wins games. Henoc Muamba is Middle linebacker, which is sometimes referred to as “the quarterback of the defence.” He’ll help the Alouettes win.

  27. greenenvy? // April 14, 2018 at 2:12 am //

    If not Manziel, Freeman IS probably the best guy so nothing to lose. I have as much concern about the coaching as anything. I’m not sold on the HC, the OC or DC. Khari Jones doesn’t do it for me & the DC is green & Huf wasn’t bringing him back as DB’s coach anyway. So IMO the QB is not the biggest problem. The fact the HC is moonlighting for whatever reason doesn’t impress me much either.

  28. Wow. Als fans are negative. Give the GM a chance. Some good off season signings. I like the coach they hired. Montreal games have good atmosphere. I come from Pembroke to see them play the Redblacks and I love the stadium in the mountain. Food is awesome and prices are very reasonable. I might remind people in Montreal that the Canadiens stink so maybe go and support the CFL this summer. I think the team will surprise people and hey it should not be too hard to improve on 3 and 15.
    Go Redblacks and see you July 6!!

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