Canadian beef: Alouettes sign contract extensions with four national offensive linemen

Photo courtesy: Dominick Gravel/Alouettes de Montreal

The Montreal Alouettes have signed Canadian offensive lineman Kristian Matte, Philippe Gagnon, Sean Jamieson and Landon Rice to two-year contract extensions through the 2023 season.

Those four were key to the Als’ offensive successes in 2021, as the team finished atop many offensive categories, including total offensive yards (5,178), points (314) and rushing yards (2,023). The offensive line allowed 35 sacks this season while protecting three different starting quarterbacks, who all have their own styles.

“Our offensive line was one of the most important cogs in our offensive successes in 2021 and it was imperative that we keep its core together for the near future of our team,” Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia said in a statement.

“These players all wanted to continue playing in Montreal and have more success together.”

The Alouettes were the only team in the league to reach the 2,000 rushing yards mark, finishing the season more than 300 yards ahead of the next closest team in that category. The collective efforts helped William Stanback finish atop the CFL with 1,176 rushing yards, which is also 300 yards more than his closest counterpart.

The six-foot-four, 296-pound Matte continues to demonstrate his strength and versatility, playing mostly as a guard in 2021. Following injuries, the 36-year-old veteran also played centre for a few games. His experience has been critical for the team’s young offensive players. The former Concordia University Stinger was selected in the first round, seventh overall by Montreal in 2010 CFL Draft.

The six-foot-four, 311-pound Gagnon was back with the team that originally drafted him in the first round, second overall in 2016 after one season in Ottawa. The 29-year-old former Laval University Rouge et Or started nine games in 2021, which was his fifth season in the CFL.

The six-foot-seven, 317-pound Jamieson made eight starts at the centre position this season. The former Western University Mustang played his fourth season with the Alouettes in 2021 after being drafted in the third round, 20th overall by Montreal in 2016.

The six-foot-six, 317-pound Rice completed his first full season as a starter in the CFL, which is his eighth in the league. The 33-year-old had a year to remember, as he was voted the Alouettes’ Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. The former Manitoba University Bison was a starter in all of the team’s 14 games, mostly at the right tackle position.