Kavis Reed is well aware of the off-season bonus Darian Durant is slated for this coming Monday.
That’s been at the centre of discussions with the veteran quarterback’s camp.
“Ever since Grey Cup week I met with Darian and his representatives, we’ve had very good chats.” the Alouettes general manager told Dave Naylor of TSN.
The 35-year-old pivot is due a $150,000 roster bonus on Monday, January 15 as reported by 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk. That’s a major salary cap commitment for a player coming off one of the worst seasons of his CFL career. According to Montreal Gazette reporter Herb Zurkowsky, Montreal has given Durant a take it or leave it option: restructure his contract or be released.
Durant threw for 3,233 yards, 15 touchdowns against 16 interceptions (second-most in the league) for the Als last season and he was benched multiple times.
“I would like to say for the record, a lot of Darian’s difficulties or Darian’s faults from last year, a lot of factors that played into that. The talent itself really got some unfair publicity in a negative way,” Reed said. “We have to take that into consideration. Often times it’s easy to blame the quarterback.”
Reed admitted the team wants to get younger at quarterback.
“For the Montreal Alouettes, since Anthony Calvillo has retired, we’ve been searching for that next franchise quarterback. I’m a firm believer from a football perspective at some particular point you’re going to have to put your stake in the ground and develop a younger guy to be our guy long-term,” Reed said.
“Often times when you look for the quick fix and don’t have a succession plan, you delay that process and you continually put the franchise in a difficult situation. Every quarterback that has a marquee value today in the CFL started as a young guy and had to go through the process of being a backup, apprenticing, going through the growing pains their first couple years and then asserting themselves as a distinct quarterback.”
Every possibility is on the table for Montreal at the most important position in football.
“Quarterback is a CEO he’s a prime representative of your team. We’ve deliberated on those. It’s more likely a younger individual that will have the opportunity to grow,” Reed said about the Alouettes potential starter in 2018.
Could that be 25-year-old Johnny Manziel?
“That name is a young man that has accomplished a lot in college football and he’s a very popular name. Everyone is impressed by Johnny Manziel. Johnny Manziel is right now the property and topic of discussion for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats,” Reed said with a coy smile.
Manziel and his agent Erik Burkhardt were granted the ability to meet with one unnamed CFL team during the fall part of the 2017 season and many believe that was the Alouettes.