CFL: Danny Maciocia, of the Montreal Alouettes, takes the risk of trading Vernon Adams Jr.


MONTREAL – Danny Maciocia fully accepts that it is quite risky to have traded Vernon Adams Jr. and the financial factor also played a role in the decision.

Relegated to a reserve role since the second game of the season, Adams Jr. ended up concluding that it was best to leave Montreal.

“I have been discussing his situation with him for several weeks. I told him that we could continue our association, but that if he saw things differently, he could come and see me. In these days he told me that if there was the possibility to play elsewhere … And there were already teams that called me quite regularly “, explained Maciocia.

The interim general manager and coach says he received a concrete offer from a team other than the BC Lions. Of course, Adams Jr. is getting closer to home – he lives in Washington state – and Nathan Rourke’s injury becomes an interesting scenario to play on, hopefully.

According to information revealed by our colleagues from TSNminority owner Gary Stern, who has retired from the team’s day-to-day operations, allegedly prevented the Alouettes from trading Adams Jr. earlier.

Maciocia declined to comment on this, so we continued with a question as to whether Stern was involved or pushing football decisions.

“No, but he had an opinion, that’s for sure, he’s the owner. Was he always in agreement with what we did and our decisions? Probably not. But he supported us. So far, the decisions have been made by those who manage football operations, “Maciocia said.

It is obvious that, in the offices of the Alouettes, no one is disappointed by Stern’s retreat which he was trying to bring very wide.

The case of Adams Jr. was influenced by the economic aspect. As Trevor Harris signed a less profitable deal, bonus clauses were included depending on how he was used. Thus, the Alouettes found themselves with two significant salaries to pay in the quarterback position.

«I do not hide you that he was a postman. Could it continue to work? Maybe, but the decisions would have to be made in the following weeks. Someone would have taken it. We knew we had some extra paychecks on our books, “Maciocia admitted.

That said, Maciocia understands that parting with Adams Jr. remains risky. Like other teams, Alouettes leaders have often said depth is key in this position. If 36-year-old Harris is injured, the team should turn to Dominique Davis or rookie Davis Alexander.

“There are always risks. But, at some point, you have to evaluate your staff. We are happy with Dominique Davis and excited to bet on Davis Alexander. We find that we are in a good short-term situation and have a long-term plan, ”Maciocia noted, specifying that that didn’t mean he had absolutely gone through these two athletes.

In this pact, the Alouettes got a pick in the first round in 2023.

“We know the story here with the first round picks, the organization stayed for several years without having one. When we talk about players like (Tyson) Philpot, (Tyrell) Richards or (Marc-Antoine) Dequoy and (Pier-Olivier) Lestage in the second round, you have to have these choices to build and have a winning and stable team, “recalled the leader.

Unsurprisingly, Harris was very complimenting Adams Jr. The two had developed a healthy relationship in 2022. In addition to the flowers he threw at her, Harris went there with this precision.

“It’s time for me to put my foot on the accelerator. I don’t think it’s my team now, ”said Harris, who said she is comfortable with the next generation behind him.

Suddenly, the September 9 match gets even more interesting because it would be surprising if Adams Jr. wasn’t sent out, at least during some games, to face the Alouettes at Percival-Molson Stadium.

“It would be fun, he’s a great competitor. It’s always fun, people talk about it often (fights against another quarterback). But I play against the defense of the Lions, ”Harris reacted.

The bottom line remains that the charismatic Adams Jr. was unable to establish himself as a long-term starter even in his second stint with the Alouettes.

“Like the team, he had a very magical year in 2019. He had a bit of a tough season last year and I think his injury hurt him. This year was not very opportunistic after the retirement. Since Trevor replaced him, we’ve seen some of the results, whether it’s our record, that we distribute the ball better and that we hit passes faster. But he is a great quarterback and probably a small change will do him a lot of good, ”concluded Maciocia who wished him success except against his family of course.

Like what is never boring with the Alouettes, Maciocia is followed by the defensive exchange Avery Ellis – who broke nothing in Montreal – with the Edmonton Elks in exchange for defender Nafees Lyon and defensive lineman Thomas Costigan.

“I’ve been trying to catch Costigan and Lyon for three weeks. They are very good and active. When I looked at our defense, I thought it was a must to have them for the second half of the program. They are productive and they give us depth, ”Maciocia said of the athletes trained by Noel Thorpe in Edmonton.


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