It appears as though contract negotiations between Eugene Lewis and the Montreal Alouettes have reached an impasse.
“See y’all in Free Agency!!” the 29-year-old tweeted on Wednesday afternoon accompanied by the hashtag #BetOnYourself. The tweet also included a 40-second clip of an infamous press conference from May 2002 in which Allen Iverson, who was the subject of trade speculation despite being the MVP of the NBA at the time, expressed his belief that he would win regardless of the team for which he played.
Lewis was named the Most Outstanding Player in the East Division this past year after making 91 receptions for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also effective in the postseason, catching 12 passes for 181 yards over two contests.
The native of Norristown, Pa. was the third-highest-paid receiver in the CFL in 2022 behind Duke Williams and Kenny Lawler but remains set to hit the open market on Feb. 14.
3DownNation‘s Justin Dunk reported that Lewis, who represents himself, has had two lengthy face-to-face meetings with Alouettes’ general manager Danny Maciocia over the past few weeks. Based on what Lewis tweeted on Wednesday, it appears as though negotiations have taken a turn for the worse.
Maciocia indicated during the league’s recent off-season winter meetings that there was mutual interest between the two parties regarding an extension.
“It’s just trying to find that happy medium,” he said two weeks ago. “How do we get a contract signed where he’s happy with it and we’re happy with it but the communication is there, we speak on a regular basis, we exchange texts, and there is a willingness for it to work but there’s still some work to be done.”
The six-foot-one, 208-pound target has made 276 catches for 4,347 yards and 28 touchdowns since signing with Montreal in 2017 straight out of the University of Oklahoma. He has been named an East Division all-star for three consecutive years and a CFL all-star for the past two years.