The Edmonton Elks have signed American linebacker Tre Watson, per sources.
Watson was released by the Montreal Alouettes in a surprise move on Monday. In an exclusive interview with 3DownNation‘s John Hodge, the linebacker alleged that his departure from the club stemmed from a pair of incidents in the team’s Week 4 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in which he clashed with an unnamed Alouettes’ coach and player.
Watson started the first four games of the season at middle linebacker for the Als and recorded 17 defensive tackles and one sack. The game against Saskatchewan was arguably the best of his young CFL career, as he posted five tackles and a sack.
The 25-year-old dressed for eight games with the Als in 2021, making seven defensive tackles and seven special teams tackles. He started one game in place Ahmad Thomas, who started the rest of Montreal’s 13 regular-season games at middle linebacker.
The six-foot-two, 230-pound linebacker played four seasons for the University of Maryland Terrapins and was named to the first All-Big Ten team and second Phil Steele All-American and FWAA All-American teams in 2018. He has previously played with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and XFL’s Dallas Renegades.
The Elks have yet to decide on a full-time starting middle linebacker, as Brady Sheldon, Deon Lacey and Canadian Adam Konar have each started a game there this season. Watson is the type of fast and physical athlete Chris Jones loves to employ on defence and could see action very early on with his new team.