With Darian Durant getting his walking papers from the Montreal Alouettes on Monday, the question becomes: where does he end up? Let’s take a look at the possibilities and the odds.
1. Winnipeg 2-to-1
The Bombers have an established starter in Matt Nichols but, as last season showed, not much behind him. Dan LeFevour made one start, which he managed to win despite throwing for just 91 yards and tossing two picks while Dominque Davis wasn’t much better in limited action. LeFevour is set to be a free agent in February.
Durant would give the Bombers some much-needed insurance behind Nichols, who was hampered late in the season by a calf injury. He has a history with offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice from their Saskie days.
Plus, the idea of Durant suiting up against the Riders in the Banjo Bowl is just too juicy to ignore.
2. Montreal 3-to-1
Despite his release by Mr. Consequences – who traded a fourth- and second-round pick and gave Durant a new deal last January, let’s remember – Durant still makes plenty of sense in Montreal given that they are the only CFL team left without a presumptive starter.
Now, it makes no sense to pay $150,000 in up front money to a guy who could not hit the broad side of Nik Lewis’ ass in one memorable game last season but the Alouettes don’t have much by the way of options, either. Ex-NFLer Josh Freeman is a giant question mark and Matt Schlitz hardly looked like the second coming of Anthony Calvillo, albeit in limited playing time. And while Kavis Reed may covet Johnny Manziel, he still belongs to Hamilton.
Then there’s this.
3. Toronto 5-to-1*
The Argonauts get an asterisk because so much depends on what happens with Ricky Ray. If he retires, then Durant makes plenty of sense as a back up behind newly-signed James Franklin (especially given that last year’s No. 2, Cody Fajardo is set to be a free agent and hardly inspired confidence in 2017.)
If Ricky comes back, however, then the Argos hardly need two geezer back ups.
4. Ottawa 8-to-1
This seems like a weird one given that the Redblacks have a starter (Trevor Harris), a veteran back up (Drew Tate) and an NFL washout (Ryan Lindley) already on the roster (all are under contract next season.)
But the Redblacks were in on Kevin Glenn before he signed in Edmonton, an indication that they aren’t entirely happy with their quarterbacking situation behind Harris. Bob Dyce, the current Ottawa special teams coordinator, was in Saskatchewan with Durant from 2010 to 2015.
5. Hamilton 10-to-1
While Johnny Manziel’s Comeback SZN™ was expected to begin as the No. 2 on the Ticats’ depth chart, his agent’s recent rocket of a public statement may have thrown a wrench into those plans.
If Johnny Football takes his talents to… wherever… the Ticats could use a back up behind Jeremiah Masoli: Everett Golson, who has thrown four CFL passes, is set to be a free agent and Dane Evans is… well, who knows?
Durant’s presence, while newsworthy, would hardly cause a ripple compared to the gong show that will almost certainly accompany Manziel.
6. B.C. 15-to-1
Jonathon Jennings just re-did his deal but remains the starter for the Lions and one hopes the team will do right by veteran and all-around good guy Travis Lulay, who is battling back from a torn ACL suffered in September (and is set to be a free agent.)
Still, it’s not hard to see the Lions wanting some veteran insurance behind Jennings, given that Lulay won’t be ready until late in the season.
7. Retirement 50-to-1
Could Darian call it quits? He’s 35 with a couple of rings, including the 2013 Grey Cup which made him a legend in Saskatchewan. His reputation as a very good and occasionally great quarterback with some flaws is likely set in stone. Like Ray, one wonders what he has left to play for.
But walking away is the hardest thing to do – it’s why Glenn is still going at 38 and they carried Calvillo off the field on his shield in 2013 after his final concussion.
And clearly, there is a market for Durant so it’s unlikely he’s not done quite yet.
8. Saskatchewan Roughriders 10 trillion-gazillion-to-1
They have a starter (Zach Collaros) and a young back up (Brandon Bridge) and they just got rid of their veteran insurance (Glenn) – not to mention the sea of bad blood between Durant and Chris Jones following their contentious contract negotiations last off-season (that ultimately saw him dealt to Montreal.)
Still, Durant in anything else other than green-and-white will never look quite right and the storylines would essentially write themselves. No, it isn’t happening – still fun to think about, though.
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