The Montreal Alouettes locked up a key piece of their offensive line Tuesday by signing a new two-year deal with left tackle Josh Bourke.
The 31-year-old two-time CFL lineman of the year was expected to be among the most coveted free agents on the market, but instead decided to stay in Montreal.
"Big signing here," Alouettes head coach and general manager Jim Popp said in a statement. "Not only does this signing allows us to maintain one of our all-important non-import starters, but Josh has been an anchor on our offensive line as well as a leader both on and off the field for the last number of years."
A native of Windsor, Ont., Bourke will be especially important to a team that has lost veteran quarterback Anthony Calvillo to retirement and is expected to go with the less experienced Troy Smith and Tanner Marsh this season.
Bourque was drafted in the third round in 2004 and is entering his eighth year with Montreal.
The Alouettes also inked new deals with linebacker Kyries Hebert, long snapper Martin Bedard and kicker Sean Whyte.
Hebert and Bedard signed three-year deals, while White signed for two.