The newest member of the Montreal Alouettes, receiver Naaman Roosevelt, wasn’t all that surprised by the Riders’ decision to go in a different direction after he spent five seasons with the club.
Roosevelt became a free agent on February 11 and he told the CJME/CKOM Green Zone that he understands why.
“It’s a bunch of young guys, a bunch of great receivers they have right now. It was eventually going to happen. All good things come to an end,” said Roosevelt.
“We talked a little bit here and there but not really offers. Which is understandable, I get what’s going on. You got a bunch of great receivers over there, someone has to go.”
Roosevelt was a highly dependable receiver for the Riders, amassing 4,134 yards and 20 touchdowns over his time in green and white. The Buffalo native was squeezed out by an American receiving corps that includes the likes of Shaq Evans, Jordan Williams-Lambert, and Kyran Moore.
During his time in Saskatchewan, Roosevelt quickly developed into a fan favourite after cracking the starting lineup. Roosevelt sat for the initial half of his first season with team in 2015 while the likes of Jamaal Richardson and Taj Smith struggled ahead of him.
Roosevelt admits that being passed over for a starting spot frustrated him.
“I was definitely frustrated but came to practice every day and worked hard,” he said.
“I think the week I started playing it was a bye week before that week and I came home. I’m like I don’t know if I can go back. I thought I came out there to play, I think I’m ready. If you want to play football, you’re going to go back. Something is going to happen. The next week it did.”
The rest — as they say — is history.
Roosevelt is excited by a new challenge in Montreal, an opportunity that opened up after the arrest of American receiver Quan Bray.
It sounds like Roosevelt’s quarterback is excited, too.
“(Vernon Adams) hit me up as soon as he heard about it. He texts, ‘what’s up? What’s going it going to take to get you out here?’ Just having a quarterback like that wants to win and get better every day. I felt like that’s an opportunity for me.”