Starting middle linebacker Tre Watson was released by the Montreal Alouettes on Monday, which came as a surprise considering how well he played during the club’s first four games of the season.
It turns out that Watson’s release had nothing to do with his abilities on the field.
The six-foot-two, 230-pound defender indicated that two incidents took place between himself and two other individuals — a player and a coach — during Montreal’s game against Saskatchewan in Week 4 that led to his release. He declined to identify the player and coach.
“I was trying to help us win. I brought some things to some guys’ attention and for the most part it seemed like all my teammates understood. My defensive coordinator understood. There wasn’t any issue from anyone but two individuals who took things personally,” Watson told 3DownNation via telephone.
“It seems like I came out blamed for what happened when I was trying to do what was in the best interest of the team.”
Montreal struggled against the Riders on Saturday, dropping a 41-20 contest at Mosaic Stadium. It was a disappointing performance for a team that had beaten Saskatchewan handily the previous week and now has a 1-3 record.
Watson said that the two incidents were not physical in nature.
“What I felt occurred over the course of the game was something that wasn’t along those lines and when I brought that to that person’s attention, they didn’t take very kindly to it and it is what it is. It wasn’t a personal thing from my perspective, it’s accountability,” said Watson.
“There was no disruption in play. There was no pushing and shoving. There was no off-camera moment that you could find and go: ‘Hey, this happened.’ Words were exchanged because when you’re passionate about something, you expect something from yourself, you expect something from your teammates and when you don’t do that on the football field, you’ve gotta say something.”
“I expect the same from my teammates to hold me to that standard and if I’m not living up to it, hold me to that. It’s happened before when I played in the XFL, NFL, and certainly a million times in college from players and coaches. That’s really it. But the way it was handled with how two individuals took it was beyond anything I could comprehend. It’s unfortunate.”
Watson said that there was no indication from the team that they were unhappy with him or his play leading up to his release. He believes he was let go in order to allow the other two individuals involved to continue on unencumbered by his presence.
“It was better to remove me than to address the situation with them. That’s their choice, that’s the business, that’s life. This isn’t the first time I’ve been cut or the first time I’ve felt disappointed. You’ve just gotta deal with it and move forward.”
Watson was informed of his release on Monday morning, one day ahead of his 26th birthday. He’s unhappy about how his tenure with the Als came to a close but remains thankful for the opportunity he received from the team.
Watson indicated that he signed a contract extension at the team’s request prior to the season, though the deal was never announced. He recently moved his wife and infant son to Montreal and is now looking for a new home.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to keep playing football, even after everything happened. I wish that things would have turned out better in a lot of ways,” said Watson. “I don’t wish bad on them, except for whenever I’m playing them on whatever team I’ll be on pretty soon. They will have to see me and that’s just the reality of it.”
The native of Phoenix, Ariz. recorded 17 defensive tackles and one sack over four starts at middle linebacker this season. He made seven defensive tackles and seven special teams tackles in a depth role last season and has previously played with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and XFL’s Dallas Renegades.
3DownNation has requested comment from the Alouettes but did not immediately receive a reply.