Quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. has finally decided not to exercise his right to withdraw from his contract with the Montreal Alouettes, they announced Thursday.
As a result, the 27-year-old pivot has given up trying his luck in the NFL, whose regular season kicks off on September 10. Initially, he wanted to see some action after the confirmation of the cancellation of the 2020 Canadian Football League campaign.
“After deeply reviewing and reflecting on my opportunities south of the border, I have come to the conclusion that my heart is in Montreal. It helped me think more about my future, and I chose to honor my contract with the Alouettes. We started something special in 2019 in Montreal, and I remain completely dedicated to leading this team to the next step. The best way to do that is to stay with the team and help make us better in any way possible, ”Adams Jr. said in a statement.
“We are satisfied with the turn of events. We have never doubted Vernon’s commitment to our organization, our city and our fans, added Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia. We are pleased that Vernon has chosen to be a part of our future and that he will continue to help us achieve our goals by continuing to work hand in hand with us.
In January, Adams Jr. signed a new deal with the Alouettes valid until 2022. He helped the team end the 2019 season with a 10-8 record, completing 283 of 431 passes for 3,942 yards. and this, in 16 parts. He finished second in the CFL with 24 touchdown passes.
Sigh of relief from the Alouettes
If there is one who is delighted with the changes in plan of Vernon Adams Jr., who ultimately chose to stay with the Montreal Alouettes rather than try his luck in the NFL, it is Gary Stern.
The co-owner of the Montreal organization did not hide his joy Thursday when the 27-year-old quarterback reversed his decision to terminate his contract with the Alouettes.
“Vernon Adams is such a lovable leader and person. Personally, I am very happy that he has decided to continue with us. The team has a really bright future and he will be our leader in the field for the next few years, ”said Stern.
Despite the frustration publicly expressed by Adams Jr. in recent months with the Canadian Football League, which was ultimately forced to cancel its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stern was taken aback when his player- star announced to him last Sunday that he was leaving the nest.
At first he greeted with disappointment, but also with respect, his decision. But he called him back the next day to convince him to stay.
“I just told him how much we counted on him to be the leader of the Alouettes,” said Stern. I believe that great things await him here. The fans love him, the management love him, and he will have great opportunities in the years to come. I told him that whatever he decides, I will respect his choice. But I suggested that he take his time and think about it for a day or two. ”
Adam Jr.’s about-face revived all the certainties Stern had when he acquired the team from Sid Spiegel last January.
“Like I said when I bought the Alouettes, next year we’ll win the Gray Cup,” said the Ontario businessman.
Stern has no doubt that there will be a season in 2021 in the CFL. Despite the financial pressure the league and its nine teams are currently under, Stern remains optimistic.
“COVID is hurting us financially, but it has also allowed us to open our eyes and highlight some issues in the league. Now that we have the time, we are coming together to find solutions, ”said Stern, without wishing to go into details.
“I know we’ll find a way to play next year and have a much better league by making the necessary changes. I believe there will be a partnership between the players and the teams that will allow us to be stronger, he continued. I don’t have all the solutions, I’m just confident that it will get better and better in the years to come and that the nine teams will return. It will be difficult for some financially, but they will get there (…) Montrealers and Quebeckers don’t have to worry about having a team next year. ”
On a more personal note, Stern admits that his first months as owner of the Alouettes were not easy. But in no way does he regret having bought the team.
“Did I expect to face these difficulties? No. But I’ve been in business for a long time. The virus poses a major problem. He’s preventing us from playing this year, which really disappoints me. But in business, you don’t look back. You look forward, you work to become stronger and better. I know that’s what will happen. ”