Alouettes GM Kavis Reed feels worries about Manziel around Montreal nightlife ‘overblown’

Kavis Reed doesn’t feel the package to get Johnny Manziel was too much.

The Montreal Alouettes general manager traded defensive end Jamaal Westerman, receiver Chris Williams and first round picks in 2020 and 2021 to Hamilton for Manziel along with offensive linemen Tony Washington and Landon Rice.

“We’re not going to stand idle and not make decisions to try to win football games. Without Johnny Manziel, Tony Washington, Landon Rice we’re 1-4, we haven’t won enough football games so far and we don’t want to leave bullets in the gun so to speak not to have ourselves an opportunity to win football games,” Reed told TSN radio in Montreal.

“This was a decision to try to give our fan base and our entire organization an opportunity at winning. Those first-round draft picks, we’ve done a very good job in the way that we’ve vetted the draft and gotten tremendous value in the later rounds. Value now and the opportunity to be smart in our scouting, our evaluation process we’ll be able to manage that with the draft picks. We have a very strong stable of Canadian offensive talent now, very young and guys that are in school that will continue to be in the system in years to come, so we’ve been strategizing that part. We felt that the Montreal Alouettes got better for now and in the future.”

Trade talks started after the Alouettes lost in Calgary on Saturday night and Reed decided to fly to Toronto and meet with Ticats brass to finalize the deal.

“We’ve talked to a number of teams and a number of agents about quarterbacks that we felt could fit the style of offence we want to implement and be able to run. One name that kept reoccurring is Johnny Manziel. For a few years obviously, everyone has been watching this young man, seeing how he performs in making his comeback in football and we had a profile on him as well,” Reed said.

Manziel partied his way out of the NFL and some believe going to a major city like Montreal could be detrimental in the 25-year-old’s attempt to turn around his pro football career. Reed wasn’t worried about the Montreal nightlife affecting Manziel.

“Absolutely it’s overblown. It’s something that’s good for reading but really in real life it has very little bearings. People’s decision making are their decision making regardless of where they are. We feel very strongly this young man has made some very good decisions in recent past and currently all the things that we vetted said that he’s been a model citizen in Hamilton,” Reed said.

“That’s critically important for us because we never want to put a football player or anyone in a situation where we don’t feel they can succeed. We feel that Johnny’s character and focus with the way the organization has morphed and conducting itself that this was a good fit and the city of Montreal is going to enjoy a great young man.”

The previous relationship Manziel had with Als head coach Mike Sherman made it a “good match” for Montreal

“That’s the thing that Coach Sherman said that he really looked forward to having in terms of the quarterback play is guys that can extend plays. One of the things we wanted to do is get our quarterbacks in the same genre, guys like Matt Shiltz, Vernon Adams fit that same mould and that’s very important to us that we don’t have two different types of quarterbacks,” Reed said.


Reed revealed important players for each side in the trade.

“We felt Tony Washington was a key piece for us, he’s a bonified Grey Cup-winning NFL experienced left tackle, played multiple positions and still at a very good age, there is still a lot of upside to him. Lando also a Canadian offensive talent that provides us with quality depth,” Reed said.

“Jamaal obviously was a centrepiece of the deal for them, it was something that was negotiated very hard. They really felt that they needed those players to make the deal palatable for them and after long negotiations we acquiesced.”

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