Secure key cogs ahead of free agency on Tuesday and extend running-back William Stanback and linebacker Chris Ackie.

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On the eve of CFL free agency, the Alouettes on Monday re-signed two players who should be key components moving forward.

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Receiver Jake Wieneke , who was eligible to become a free agent at noon Tuesday, has signed a new contract with Montreal. Wieneke, the East Division’s outstanding rookie in 2019, caught 56 ​​passes for 898 yards last season, along with a league-leading 11 touchdowns.

“Jake will bring production and familiarity to our team,” general manager Danny Maciocia told the Montreal Gazette. “He’s good in the locker room and has a good work ethic.”

At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Wieneke provides a large target for starting quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.

Another player who decided to avoid free agency is offensive-tackle Chris Schleuger. Although he played only three games last season, the Als are seeking a left tackle following the recent trade of starter Tony Washington to Edmonton for defensive-tackle Michael Moore.

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Schleuger, 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, is a potential replacement for Washington. Also expected to battle for the starting job is Nick Callender, who completed last season on the practice roster. Schleuger is entering his third season with Montreal.

“Schleuger can play up and down the line of scrimmage,” Maciocia said. “We enjoy having that flexibility. He also has an understanding of our playbook.”

Wieneke and Schleuger signed one-year contracts.

The Als also announced contract extensions for running-back William Stanback and linebacker Chris Ackie, neither of whom were eligible to test the market on Tuesday. But one of Maciocia’s priorities is to allocate some of his available salary cap for players who figure in the team’s long-term plans.

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Stanback was the CFL’s rushing leader in 2021, gaining 1,176 yards on 193 carries, while scoring three touchdowns. He was the division nominee as most outstanding player. Ackie had a team-leading 48 defensive tackles, six sacks and two interceptions.

The Als also announced the signings of backup safety Kerfalla Exumé and quarterback Davis Alexander, who completed his collegiate career at Portland State University.

Last Friday, the Als signed former Ottawa Redblacks QB Dominique Davis, who’s expected to back up Adams. Davis replaces Matthew Shiltz, who was released before a free agency and signed with Hamilton.

Among the defensive starters the Als are expected to lose on Tuesday are defensive-end David Ménard and safety Ty Cranston, to BC and Ottawa, respectively. Ménard, who had a team-leading eight sacks, was the division finalist as outstanding Canadian last season.

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