MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes scratched a big item off their off-season to-do list on Thursday, signing QB Anthony Calvillo to a new two-year contract.
The announcement arrives after the 40-year old quarterback underwent successful surgery on his non-throwing shoulder last week.
“I am delighted to be able to announce that Anthony will continue playing next year as for so many years he has represented the best of the Alouettes and the CFL on and off the field. He has contributed so very much to his team, the league and the community,” said Montreal Owner Bob Wetenhall.
With his surgery now in the rear-view mirror, Calvillo can now shift his focus towards what will be his 20th CFL season. However, the East Los Angeles, CA native will cap off his second decade in the CFL surrounded by some new faces in Montreal.
Most notably among them will be Pat Meyer, who was named the team’s offensive coordinator yesterday after spending the 2012 season manning the Als’ offensive line.
In 2012, Calvillo became the first QB in league history to reach the 5,000-plus yards mark seven times over his brilliant career. He also threw for over 300 yards in eight-straight games, breaking Doug Flutie’s single-season CFL record of seven, set in 1991 with the B.C. Lions. The veteran pivot also moved ahead of quarterback Warren Moon and into sole possession of second place on the all-time pro football touchdown passing list with 449, behind leader Brett Favre (508).
“Anthony has been a solid foundation for our football team for a number of years now,” explained Alouettes general manager Jim Popp. “The leadership he offers in the community, in the locker room, and on the playing field is irreplaceable. We are fortunate in many ways that he has chosen to return.”
Calvillo is coming off a campaign that saw him rank second in the league in passing yards (5,082) and touchdown passes (31) all while throwing only 14 interceptions on 555 pass attempts. He also rushed for a pair of TDs in a single game for the first time in his career.
“I’m truly excited to come back and be a part of this great team and organization. With Jim’s hard work and Coach Trestman at the helm, I believe we will once again have a very competitive team next season and I can’t wait to get back on the field with my teammates,” said Calvillo ahead of his 20th CFL season.
Last season, Calvillo earned his tenth nomination as the team’s Most Outstanding Player while being named a CFL All-Star for the fifth time.
“Like I said many times over the last few months, I truly believe Anthony had his best season in 2012,” said Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. “He overcame adversity in many ways. He played most of the season with a lingering injury and lost some of his premier targets to injuries, which did not affect his game. I am extremely appreciative of what Anthony does for our football team daily on and off the field and am once again grateful for the opportunity to coach him.”
His efforts helped lead the Alouettes to the top of the East Division standings for the fourth time in five seasons. However, Calvillo’s hopes for a fourth Grey Cup championship fell short, as the Als suffered a 27-20 loss to the eventual Grey Cup Champs Toronto Argonauts.