Kavis Reed Repairs Alouettes Roster with Another Trade

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REGINA, SK - JUNE 15: TJ Heath #23 of the Toronto Argonauts on the sideline during the game between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)

Kavis Reed Continues to Work on the Alouettes Roster

Last Thursday was a tough night for the Alouettes. Not only did they lose their match against the Eskimos, they lost two defensive starters. Staunching the bleeding last night, general manager Kavis Reed pulled off a trade. He sent National offensive lineman Ryan Bomben and a 2020 5th-round pick to the Argonauts for International defensive back T.J. Heath and a 2020 3rd-round pick. While the trade may seem to leave the Alouettes offensive line in disarray, a closer analysis reveals a lot to like.

Youth is Served

What does the departure of Bomben mean for the Alouettes’ offensive line? Certainly, as first discussed by Cliffy Pine of the ALSternative, the deal may mean that the Alouettes are comfortable giving National offensive lineman Trey Rutherford playing time. The potential return of National supplemental pick Tyler Johnstone from the one-game injured list also gives the Alouettes flexibility. They are not tied to Rutherford if he struggles. While the trade degrades the depth of experience on Montreal’s offensive line, the shift of the offensive game plan to mobile quarterbacks, whether it be Vernon Adams Jr. or Johnny Manziel, may mitigate some of the teething problems.

An Improved Alouettes Defence

The acquisition of T.J. Heath shores up a decimated Alouettes secondary. Defensive back Najee Murray and cornerback Mitchell White were injured last Thursday, with White’s injury sidelining him for the season. White started the entire year at corner and Murray started a few games over the last month.

Enter T.J. Heath. Heath is an International defensive back who can play a variety of positions. He started his career in the National Football League, bouncing around multiple rosters from 2011-2015, before finally landing with the Argonauts in May 2016. Heath immediately excelled. He compiled 51 defensive tackles, eight knockdowns, and seven interceptions between Toronto and Winnipeg after being traded mid-season. His outstanding season earned Heath both division and league all-star accolades.

Heath still plays at a high level. In the first six games with the Argonauts this season, Heath amassed 24 defensive tackles and two interceptions. Because White and Murray are both Internationals, Heath’s International status will not require further roster shuffling. He should be able to make an immediate improvement on the Alouettes secondary.

The Last Word

It appears the future is now for the Montreal Alouettes. General manager Kavis Reed continues to make improvements and appears willing to sacrifice experience in one facet of the game in order to maintain stability in others.

Bomben’s departure opens up playing time for either Rutherford or Johnstone. The addition of T.J. Heath improves an injured Alouettes secondary. As well, Reed turned a 2020 5th-round into a 3rd-round pick, committing to his previously discussed philosophy of finding value in the third round. With a playoff spot still within reach, it’s hard to fault Reed for restoring the Alouettes secondary while opening playing time for young players.

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