Alouettes sign star running back James Wilder Jr.

The Montreal Alouettes have signed star running back James Wilder Jr. to a one-year contract for the 2020 season, per sources.

Wilder Jr. requested and received his release from the Toronto Argonauts in late November. He played in 14 games for the double blue in 2019, the final year of his contract.

The six-foot-three, 232-pounder ran for 872 yards (7.2-yard average) and five touchdowns in 17 games while adding 51 catches for 533 yards bursting on the scene during the 2017 season. Wilder Jr. started six regular season games for Toronto in which the Argos went 5-1 and the double blue went 2-0 in the playoffs, including the Grey Cup victory while being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2017.

During three seasons in Toronto, Wilder Jr. played 44 games rushing 361 times for 2,027 yards, nine touchdowns while grabbing 154 passes for 1,487 yards and five majors. Wilder Jr. can be a dynamic offensive playmaker in an offence which maximizes his talents.

Prior to coming north of the border, Wilder Jr. spent two seasons on the Cincinnati Bengals practice roster and had a stint with the Buffalo Bills. The same season Wilder Jr. signed with the Argos, Trestman was the bench boss following his time with the Chicago Bears.

William Stanback was the No. 1 running back for Montreal in 2019. Stanback rushed for 1,048 yards — third most in the CFL — and five touchdowns on 6.2 yards per carry with 33 catches for 329 yards in 14 games during the 2019 season. He was named a CFL all-star for his efforts. The Las Vegas Raiders took notice and inked Stanback to a deal in January.

The 27-year-old Wilder Jr. teams with franchise quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. to give the Als an explosive backfield.

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