Kyries Hebert was asked to change roles with the Alouettes.
“I would play 20 to 30 plays a game and that is not something I am interested in. I don’t think that’s something that’s warranted based on my play. I go from defensive player of the year in the East to somebody’s backup,” Hebert said on TSN 690 Montreal after signing with the Redblacks.
The 37-year-old made a career-high 110 tackles, forced three fumbles, made two sacks and intercepted one pass in 18 games last year.
“The role was asked to be changed, the role was not accepted and we respectfully granted Kyries his release,” general manager Kavis Reed said about setting the linebacker free after paying him a $40,000 bonus on Feb. 1.
“If you watch the film of last year I did my part on the football field. Usually, pro football is a production-based business. If we didn’t change defensive coordinators, it’s very easy to say that I win defensive player of the year in the league last year,” Hebert said about the Als firing Noel Thorpe mid-season.
When it was time for contract negotiations with Montreal, general manager Kavis Reed never formally offered him a contract.
“He said you’re going to get non-starter money. But at no point even when sending me out for the league to give me opportunities to talk to other teams they were putting numbers out there and I never got a number from Montreal,” Hebert said.
Ottawa immediately signed Hebert, reuniting him with Thorpe who has many more years of experience compared to first-year Alouettes defensive coordinator Kahlil Carter.
“It’s a rookie defensive coordinator and he has a guy such as myself where he doesn’t see fitting in what his idea of what the defence looks like. How much power does a rookie defensive coordinator have?” Hebert asked.
“Kavis said that it was an intelligent decision, that can be one man’s opinion, but time will tell.”