Significant changes took place in the Alouettes’ offence in 2019. We discovered a strong quarterback with Vernon Adams Jr. and built a solid receiving squad with guys like Jake Wieneke, Eugene Lewis, B.J. Cunningham, and Dante Absher. Add to the mix former Roughriders star receiver Naaman Roosevelt, and there is every reason to believe our offence will be unstoppable.
Roosevelt, a 5-year CFL veteran, is expected to be a key contributor in the Alouettes’ wide receiver corps in 2021. During his five seasons in Saskatchewan, the six-foot-one, 195-pounder proved to be a highly dependable receiver, recording 301 catches for 4,134 yards and 20 touchdowns. The 33-year old has two 1000-yard receiving seasons and was named CFL West All-Star in 2017.
“Naaman Roosevelt is an established player who catches everything, he has great hands,” said Alouettes receivers coach Robert Gordon. “He knows all the CFL defenses, has a high football IQ, and can also play multiple positions. And has a great character.”
Roosevelt is Buffalo-bred, through and through. He played college football at University of Buffalo, where he showed he had the gusto to make it to the professional ranks. He became one of the best receivers in school history, catching 268 passes for 3,551 yards over his college career. The former UB standout went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft but ended up signing with his hometown Buffalo Bills, for which he played 16 games in 2010 and 2011. After stints with the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and Bills again, he moved North of the border in March 2015 to join the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Montreal will only be the second team he’s been with over his CFL career, but he won’t be landing into totally unknown territory. He’ll be reconnecting with Spencer Moore and Vernon Adams Jr., both of which he played with back in the West.
Vernon Adams Jr. was particularly excited about the veteran receiver’s arrival in the nest. When he found out Naaman was having conversations with Montreal in early 2020, he shot him a text saying “Hey bro, what’s up? What’s it gonna take to take you here? I’d love to play with you again.” And as soon as the contract was signed, the quarterback was sending him videos to watch and plays to learn.
The relationship between the two will be fun to watch. We can’t wait to see the pair build on that chemistry and evolve into a powerful duo. While Vernon Adams Jr. will be entering his first season as the team’s official starting quarterback, Roosevelt is a proven veteran coming off a stellar 2019 season during which he compiled 77 receptions for 946 yards and a touchdown.
“Roosevelt is a veteran who brings a lot of experience. He has great playmaking abilities and an outstanding work ethic. He’s a winner who understands the game and the expectations that come with it. Naaman has a calming presence that makes him a great teammate and locker room guy” stated Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia.
Naaman is a man of many talents. When he’s not playing football, he’s writing rap songs inspired by his experiences playing ball. In early 2020, he produced and released his first rap album under the alias Name Nyce, which you can listen to right here!