Darian Durant in no hurry to make a decision on next destination

Quarterback Darian Durant is going to take his time before deciding where to continue his football career.

The 35-year-old was released by the Alouettes on Monday after the team elected against paying a $150,000 off-season bonus. That’s made Durant a free agent for the first time in his CFL career, so he can survey the market and choose his next spot.

Winnipeg would make sense for a couple main reasons. Reconnecting with long-time Riders teammate and good friend Weston Dressler is appealing as well as offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice, who spent two seasons calling plays for Durant in Saskatchewan (2008 and 2009). Durant would be the backup to entrenched starter Matt Nichols.

But there are two East Division teams who might need a veteran presence at the quarterback position: Toronto and Hamilton.

The Argos signed up-and-coming young pivot James Franklin to a two-year deal and are waiting to hear whether or not Ricky Ray will return for another season. If Ray retires and ends his career on top, Toronto might want an experienced quarterback on the roster.

The same could be true in the Steel City. The Ticats inked starter Jeremiah Masoli for two years and even if Johnny Manziel comes to Hamilton, they would have precious little experience behind Masoli.

Returning to Montreal is on the table though it’s unclear how much of a priority that is for Durant. Josh Freeman, Matthew Shiltz and Antonio Pipkin are under contract for the Als in 2018 and there is one start among them. But that was the same situation at quarterback before Montreal set Durant free.

Expect the 11-year veteran to sit back in the pocket, progress through the options and zero in on the best one.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (754 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

14 Comments on Darian Durant in no hurry to make a decision on next destination

  1. Moncton Ticats fan // January 17, 2018 at 5:04 pm //

    June Jones and his staff should figure out if Durant can fit into their system. I think he would be a better back up sitting on the bench than “that other guy” (you all know who I mean!)

  2. who says he has any ‘decicions’ to make, Dunk? you make it sound as if he has multiple suitors

    did you not see the Montreal games last year? he averaged about 1 TD pass every TWO games

    as a player, he’s done….he would be a liability

    • Ridersnhabs // January 17, 2018 at 11:13 pm //

      Do u understand sports at all? Yes DD struggled in Montreal but with Reed no QB would have had success. As QB confidence is everything and with what was going on in Montreal he lost that . To give a blanket statement like that tells me 2 things
      1 you don’t like Durant
      2 you are a clueless troll

  3. Cobalt Blue // January 17, 2018 at 7:09 pm //

    I would welcome Durant in Ti-Cat Land. He just needs the right team and coaching staff to generate all-new status. Experience and having the ability to let the ball go quickly would make Durant a good choice.

  4. Blue rules // January 17, 2018 at 10:05 pm //

    Four teams would be interested, Hamilton (Manzeil) & Toronto (Ray) depends whether they come to terms with perspective backups, Winnipeg & Ottawa because they both could benefit with an experience backup. Redblacks might be a long shot! My thoughts would be Winnipeg/Toronto first choice. DD knows he’s game until Manzeil & Ray sign or walk.

  5. Another team, albeit maybe a darker horse than the others mentioned could be the Stampeders. Given Mitchell’s injuries this year and the fact that they lost their second straight Grey Cup game, Hufnagel and Dickinson may not want to go into next season without a proven back up. Neither Buckley nor Stanzi would be capable of carrying the offence for any great length of time and likely played into the decision to continue to play Mitchell despite his significant injuries.

    • Yup those Stamps are just a horrible team.They lost 2 straight Grey Cups LOL. It just sounds like maybe a rider or eskimo fan ?? lol

    • I will come back on my comment.I do agree the Stamps may take a look at Durant

  6. Just saying // January 18, 2018 at 12:01 am //

    It’s probably best to wait it out, but not sure how much choice he’ll actually have?

  7. Blue rules // January 18, 2018 at 2:01 am //

    I’m biased, Winnipeg. Can’t wait for banjo bowl….

  8. Lots of variables here, but I’m assuming Ray will re-sign in TO, and Johnny-Johnny will get signed in Hamilton – if they screw this one up it would surely be an ominous sign for the season – and Lulay will sign in BC. The Esks and Riders don’t have openings now, so that leaves the Bombers, RedBlacks, and Stampeders. The Bombers and RedBlacks have been discussed – between the two I’d lean towards the RBs if I was Durant – but I think the Stampeders are a possibility as well. This will be a HUGE year for the Stamps – If they blow it again this year the team’s psyche may not recover. They may have to do a major overhaul just to exorcise the demons. – They don’t have an experienced backup, and BLM had some significant injury issues last year. And Durant probably wants to go to a team that has a good chance to win it all, and he may be prepared to take a discount to do it. As a Rider fan I hate to even think about it, but the analyst in me see it as a real possibility.

  9. Jimmy Jimmy Coacoa Puff // January 18, 2018 at 7:20 am //

    Fun fact or maybe it’s more of a sad fact. In early 2015 Jacque Chapdilane was hired as the OC in SK. Durant the QB coming back off of a horrible throwing arm injury Banjo Bowl 2014.
    In the first Qtr of the 1st regular season Game. Immediately after throwing a simple pass and completely untouched. Darian Durant went down on the field. His ACL was torn and just like that his whole season was over. GM Brendan Taman and Head Coach Corey Chamblin did not have a proven back up QB and the Riders season went 0-9. At which point the GM and Head Coach were fired. Needless to say but the 1st year OC Jacque Chapdelains time in SK ended at the end of that miserable season. Darian Durant came back in 2016 and won 3 games. The other 2 game wins came from backup QB’s.
    Fast forward to season 2017. Travel East to Montreal and find the Alouettes late 2016 season interim head coach is now the new 2017 head coach in Jacque Chapdelain with rookie GM Kavis Reed. An off season signing of a QB who’s play had become questionable. Rookie GM Reed Traded for Durant with 2 draft picks. Then proceeded to give Darian a huge contract at $400K a year for 3 years. With $200K up front and $150K up front the following 2 years. Durant and Chapdelain back together again. Durant making big money without incentive bonuses or proof he was truly a top tier QB. Really just Hoping on a wing and a prayer for a better outcome.
    We all know how the story ends. Darians play is worse than sub par it’s brutal to watch. How worst season as a CFL QB. Brutal really. The system wasn’t great but Darian couldn’t even complete a swing pass to wide open receivers. Embarrassing to watch. Really it was! Head Coach Chapdelain gets fired. 2 times with Durant and 2 times his employment ends incredibly premature.
    Where ever Jacque and Darian end up. For their own sakes I hope it’s not together. Chapdelain had a good run in BC before being paired with Darian. As well Durant had a good run in SK before his injuries. It seems as though neither men have returned to their previous form pre 2015.
    You can have combos of good OC’s and QB’s. Like Dave Dickenson and Bo Mitchell. Or Belichuck and Brady. Then you can have bad combos like Chapdilane and Durant.
    Now you can combine names and refer to these scenarios like… I want a good BoDick or BeliBra combo on my team. Or we don’t need no JacRant happening here.

  10. Scottsask // January 18, 2018 at 9:19 am //

    I completely agree Jimmy. Well put.

  11. Darian was offered a contract in Sk and refused to sign it he went to Montreal for the money simple as that and now he got canned because of the money simple as that

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