The Montreal Alouettes announced on Tuesday they have released William Stanback per his request. The Alouettes were unable to reach an agreement for a contract extension to keep Stanback in the nest and he has requested to be released to get a head start on free agency negotiations.
RB William Stanback – Virginia Union (29 y/o, 6’0, 233 lbs)
William Stanback joined the Alouettes in 2018 and was a CFL All-Star in 2019 and 2021. Stanback has played in 61 regular season games with the Alouettes rushing for 3,718 yards and averaging 5.94 yards per carry and 11 rushing touchdowns. He has also caught 106 passes for 1,042 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Stanback played a key role in the Alouettes’ postseason run rushing 36 times for 178 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and had a touchdown in the Grey Cup. He also caught 5 passes for 64 yards.
“We’d like to thank Will for his years of faithful service,” stated Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “After several meetings with Will and his camp, he informed us that he wanted to be granted his early release before the start of free agency. We have decided to honour his wishes.”
“I have a whole lot left, I just wasn’t able to showcase that, and not because of my abilities,” Stanback told TSN. “It was just because of what was wanted, decisions were made that were not in my favor and didn’t allow me to be as dominant. I’m fortunate Montreal gave me my release and I have nothing but respect for the organization. Being able to have a head start on free agency is something all players want to have. I’ll get to talk to teams earlier, they can hear me out and I get to listen to them.”
Montreal’s offense at times had a tendency this past season to go away from the run especially early in the season and continued to be a pass-heavy offense so it is not a surprise that Montreal is not interested in investing top dollar on the runningback position to retain the 2-time all-star. Stanback was the highest-paid running back last season earning between $160,000 and $170,000.
“Our dollars were allocated differently in our player structure,” Maciocia told the Montreal Gazette. “The reality is we’re dealing with a salary cap. You know what it is. That number doesn’t change much from one year to another. It’s a question of how you’re going to invest your money. That’s what it comes down to. You can’t keep everybody. Internally as an organization we sat down and tried to put a value on this position. We feel differently about it now than we did two years ago.”
The CFL could see a lot of changes this offseason with several starting running backs going to enter free agency without an extension including Brady Oliveira (Winnipeg), Jamal Morrow (Saskatchewan), A.J. Ouellette (Toronto), Devonte Williams (Ottawa), and Ka’Deem Carey (Calgary). Although Calgary appears to be moving forward with Dedrick Mills as their expected starter.
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