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May 19, 2018

Olafioye released; quickly joins Lions

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

MONTREAL — Less than an hour after reports surfaced that the Montreal Alouettes had released Jovan Olafioye, the veteran left tackle had already found a new home.

The BC Lions announced late Saturday night that they have signed Olafioye to a new deal, with the ninth-year veteran expected to be present on Monday after the team opens camp in Kamloops, B.C.

“Jovan is an experienced and talented offensive lineman who will further strengthen the right side of our line,” said General Manager Ed Hervey.

Olafioye’s release was first reported by the Montreal Gazette‘s Herb Zurkowsky, and later by TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

After seven straight seasons without missing a single game, Olafioye was held to 12 starts in his first year in Montreal due to injury. The Alouettes acquired the eight-year veteran before training camp last year, moving the rights to former CFL Draft pick David Foucault to the BC Lions.

Olafioye was long considered one of the best offensive tackles in the CFL over his first several years in the league, earning CFL All-Star honours in six of his first seven seasons.

The 30-year-old is likely to compete with several other international tackles on the Lions’ roster for the starting job opposite off-season signing Joel Figueroa.

The Lions missed Olafioye’s presence last season, surrendering the most sacks in the CFL while missing the playoffs for the first time in two decades, finishing last in the West Division.

The move for Olafioye comes on the eve of training camps opening across the league. The Als open camp at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, while the Lions report to Kamloops, B.C.