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Als offensive tackle Perrett avoids free agency, signs three-year deal

Montreal Alouettes' Mike Imoh (21) is lifted in the air by teammate Jeff Perrett (54) after scoring a touchdown against the Edmonton Eskimos during first half CFL action in Montreal, September 21, 2008.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/REUTERS

The Montreal Alouettes kept a key member of their offensive line off the free agent market by signing Jeff Perrett to a three-year contract Tuesday.

The six-foot-seven Perrett has been with the Alouettes since he broke into the CFL in 2007.

The Lethbridge, Alta., native, who missed four games in 2012 with a hyperextended left knee, was a starter on an offensive line that allowed only 30 sacks, tied for the lowest in the league. They helped three different starting running backs average 5.0 yards per carry.

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General manager Jim Popp said in a statement the signing "allows us to go into camp with our offensive line intact from one year ago.

"Jeff brings a massive, imposing figure to the right tackle position and is a very difficult player to get around to get to the quarterback."

The CFL free agent market opens on Friday.

He is the fourth offensive lineman to sign a new deal this off-season, following fellow Canadians Andrew Woodruff, Kristian Matte and Ryan Bomben.

Popp also announced that running back Jerome Messam has passed his physical exam, which makes official his acquisition last week from the Edmonton Eskimos for a sixth round draft pick.

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