There is to be no potentially unlucky 13 for Darian Durant. After 12 seasons in the CFL he has announced his retirement from the game.
Durant’s CFL career started in 2006 and he has thrown for 31,740 yards and 167 touchdowns in 174 games (starting 128 of those games) over that time. He also has 24 career rushing touchdowns to his name.
He posted a message on his personal website saying in part “so many life lessons have been learnt throughout this football journey. With that being said, I have decided to retire from football … If you cut me open, I am sure that I would bleed green. Saskatchewan and Regina will always be home.”
Indeed, Durant will be fondly remembered in Saskatchewan, having led the Riders to three Grey Cup finals (2009, 2010 and 2013), ultimately winning the 101st Grey Cup in 2013. Prior to starting 15 games for Montreal in 2017 Durant has spent his entire career in Rider green.
After failing to restructure his deal Durant was released by the Alouettes earlier this year and had agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Blue Bombers. He was expected to be the backup to Matt Nichols this year. It’s fair to say that Winnipeg appears to have been caught off guard by the news. They released a statement via their website stating that they had only learnt of this via social media and that they were extremely disappointed.
Rumours now abound on social media that Durant has refused to return a $70K signing bonus. As it stands I am not sure there is a CFL policy pertaining to signing bonuses, in the CBA or league constitution, for teams to get back what they feel they are owed in situations like this.
Opinion is split on whether it is a crass ‘classless’ move or just looks like when players get cut by a team just before a bonus is due. After all how many times have players been cut from rosters prior to a roster bonus?
It would be fair to say that whilst he will remain popular in Saskatchewan in Winnipeg Durant probably isn’t flavour of the month right now.
Image from cfl.ca