Free agent intrigue surrounds reigning Most Outstanding Canadian Henoc Muamba

Photo courtesy: Montreal Alouettes, Dominick Gravel

Ratio-breaking Canadian linebacker Henoc Muamba produced the two best seasons of his career with the Montreal Alouettes.

That production wasn’t enough for general manager Danny Maciocia to re-sign Muamba prior to the opening of CFL free agency. Although, Maciocia did ask him to bring any offers back to the team to potentially match.

The 31-year-old was one of the key leaders in a remarkable turnaround in La Belle Province during the 2019 campaign. He was the defensive captain as the Als went 10-8 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

Muamba played at an elite level — regardless of his passport — earning CFL all-star honours while capturing the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian award. Over his last two years in Montreal, the 2011 first overall CFL Draft pick has tallied 201 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception.

The St. Francis Xavier University product has played in 108 career games, recording 468 tackles, 75 special teams tackles, 14 forced fumbles, 12 sacks, five interceptions and one defensive touchdown. He’s been named a league all-star twice in his eight-year CFL career.

Statistics provide proof of production, but Muamba’s leadership can’t be tracked in any box score. He has been especially valuable to Montreal as a dedicated member of the community and using his English and French-speaking acumen to reinvigorate the image of the Alouettes.

Muamba was scheduled to earn $223,000 during the 2020 season, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Als have brought back many of the pieces who were integral to the team’s resurgence at reasonably reduced rates with franchises working towards limiting spending to the salary cap floor.

Montreal hasn’t secured Muamba and it could lead to a rival team enlisting his services. He’s fully healthy following a year away from the field and it is expected that the ultra-athletic linebacker will be in peak physical condition if football is played in 2021.

Muamba has resigned himself to the fact the market has reduced every player’s value, however the contract still needs to be fair and reflect his value to a franchise as a defensive playmaker, captain, leader, and role model in the city.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.