Ticats acquire Nick Shortill from Alouettes for Frederic Plesius (and why they did it)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have traded Frederic Plesius to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for Nick Shortill in a swap of Canadian linebackers.

The 29-year-old Plesius was selected in the second round (10th overall) of the 2012 CFL Draft and played 66 games with Hamilton over four seasons registering 58 special teams tackles, 25 defensive tackles, one sack and one interception. He finished second in the CFL with 23 special teams tackles last season.

In Shortill, the Ticats get a younger, cheaper version of Plesius. Just 24, the former McMaster Marauder played in all 18 of Montreal’s games, last season, posting five defensive tackles and 17 special teams tackles. The 6-foot-2, 223-pounder has played 35 career CFL games with the Alouettes since being drafted by the team 13th overall (second round) in the 2015 CFL Draft. He has accumulated 22 defensive tackles and 29 special teams tackles during his two-year CFL career.

The move makes sense for both teams. Plesius is a Quebec native who, despite re-signed with the Ticats last season after exploring free agency, is looking for an opportunity to start on defence – something he wasn’t going to get in Hamilton with all-star Simoni Lawrence and second-year man Larry Dean in front of him. The Alouettes, eager to re-energize their fan base, add a Francophone who played at Laval.

Shortill is still on his rookie contract and will allow the Ticats to see a salary cap savings of a approximately $50,000. A native of Nobleton, Ontario north of Toronto, Shortill is well-known as a former McMaster star who played in three Vanier Cups, winning one. Again, a local kid is easier to market to the fan base.

Both players will be free agents after this season are now more likely to re-sign with their existing clubs – no small consideration at a time when Canadian talent is more valuable than ever. 

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