The Alouettes made Montreal fans dream by announcing Thursday evening that they had obtained the rights of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, if he ever decided to end his career in the Canadian Football League . In fact, the chances of this scenario happening are all but zero.
The guard had been a third-round pick of the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL after the Kansas City Chiefs made him their sixth-round NFL pick a few weeks earlier.
Since then, “LDT” had a prolific career and even won the Super Bowl as a starting right guard at the end of the 2019 campaign.
The likeable doctor never looked up from the CFL and his product, but the NFL has always been the focus of his efforts and sacrifices. After seven seasons that saw him play 68 games, including 64 as a starter, it would be surprising if he made the jump to the CFL.
Some NFL players have “gone North” over time. It is not unprecedented. Just think of Chad Johnson and Johnny Manziel in Montreal, or Ricky Williams in Toronto. There is nothing unsightly for an NFL player to want to cling to football by coming to play in Canada, let alone for a player from here.
But how many of these athletes who crossed the border in the oval ball had a career plan as solid as that of Duvernay-Tardif with medicine for the rest of their life off the field?
Ask the question is the answer.
Medicine or the NFL
In a lengthy interview in June, “LDT” had established clear that he was now going to focus on medicine when he started his residency, which he has been doing for a few weeks now.
He also clearly mentioned that only a real quality opportunity in the NFL in September could bring him back to the field. To return for another season, he would have to line up with a team aspiring to top honors.
In short, the order of priorities has always been clear and it has never been question of continuing his football career in the CFL, even with the Alouettes, the team of the city he cherishes.
As an ambassador?
However, it is important to specify that for the Alouettes, the acquisition of the rights to Duvernay-Tardif from the Stampeders was quite natural. The transaction does not involve any risk. If and only if Duvernay-Tardif decided to play in Montreal, an almost nil possibility, we repeat, the organization would only give a second-round pick to the Stampeders. A trade of first picks could also be made.
If the proud representative of McGill University realizes this fall or next year that he has no opportunity in the NFL, the potential of an association with the Alouettes in an ambassadorial role is not far-fetched, however. The Duvernay-Tardif clan has never to date raised the idea of representing the organization in any way, but you never know…
In this sense, you have to see the gesture from the Alouettes like an outstretched hand for the future, rather than a real hope of seeing him with his helmet in the trenches at Percival-Molson Stadium.