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Montreal Alouettes Extend Brian Harelimana, Sign 2 Others

The Montreal Alouettes signed Brian Harelimana to a 2-year contract extension. They also signed defensive lineman L.B. Mack and extended punter Joseph Zema. The Alouettes released Defensive back, Kenneth Durden.

Brian Harelimana, LB

The Alouettes signed Brian Harelimana to a 2-year contract extension on Monday, April 17.

Brian Harelimana registered 12 defensive tackles and 6 special teams tackles in 2022 during his second year in the CFL. He also contributed 3 sacks and a forced fumble.

Harelimana played in every game last year, 3 of which he played as a starter. During those 3 starts, Harelimana racked up 3 sacks over a 2 game home and away stretch. The sacks came against the Rough Riders during which he took down now-teammate, Cody Fajardo.

Harelimana was a fourth-round draft pick for Montreal (33rd overall) in the 2020 CFL Draft. H played his college football for the Université de Montréal.

“Brian has continued to improve since we drafted him,” said Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “He is a versatile player who brings a lot to our defensive unit. Whether it’s in the locker room, on the field, or in the community, Brian always raises his hand, which is why he is appreciated by everyone.”

“It means everything,” Brian Harelimana said of the extension. “Being a kid from Montreal and growing up watching the Alouettes win, means a lot. Especially because I have a couple of seasons under my belt, and we weren’t too far from winning also. Just having the same nucleus, same group and building continuity in our organization is everything.

“We grew up here watching the Alouettes have success. We know what the city is about when the Alouettes win. We know the joy of winning in Montreal. People love you once you’re a winner here. The fact that a lot of us local players played with or against each other, so we know what it takes to get the joy and pride of Quebec. It’s important to have that pride. We’re going to go the extra mile to make our people proud.”

“Coach Maas gave me a call not too long ago, and we spoke,” he said. “I learned to know him, and he got to know me too. We’re excited to get to work with each other. He gave me praise for the good games I had against them, because he was coordinator out there (in Saskatchewan).

“The journey, the 20-plus weeks that we have together, learning to win and battling together, there is going to be ups and downs, but being resilient throughout that is what makes the story really good. That’s what I told him I was looking forward to in 2023, the process, the journey, and enjoying every moment. Because tomorrow is not promised and we’re going to make the most out of what we have today. He agreed with me, and we had a great talk. I think that’s something we’re all going to try to instill in this team moving forward, so that for the next few years, Montreal is going to have a culture that people will recognize.”

LB. Mack III, DL

Doing it for Big Bill – Winnipeg Free Press

The Montreal Alouettes also signed American defensive lineman L.B. Mack on April 17. In his CFL rookie season last year, he had 5 defensive tackles, 1 special team tackle, and 2 sacks in just 6 games playing for the Blue Bombers.

Mack played his college football for Rhode Island in the Colonial Athletic Association Conference. He finished his career second in the program’s history for tackles for a loss (39) and fourth in sacks (21).

Joseph Zema, P

The Montreal Alouettes extended their global punter through 2024 on April 18. He was drafted in the global draft 6th overall in 2021.

In 2022 he finished 4th in punting average in the CFL at 47.3 yards per punt. He also pinned offenses inside their 10-yard line ten times last year, third-most in the league. His punts averaged net yards after a return of 38.1 which was third in the league.

“Joseph has a very strong leg and I am very impressed with him,” said Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “He has been very good with us since he joined our team, being able to push back the opposing teams very deep in their territory.”

Kenneth Durden, DB


The Alouettes released American defensive back Kenneth Durden on April 18. Durden played his rookie season for the Als last year. In 7 games he contributed 18 defensive tackles.

Durden had spent time on practice squads in the NFL from 2016 to 2019 with the Raiders, Titans, and Giants.

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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