Kavis Reed discussing Darian Durant bonus, wants younger starting QB (Manziel?)

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.


32 Comments on Kavis Reed discussing Darian Durant bonus, wants younger starting QB (Manziel?)

  1. NO! NO!! NO!!! Getting Manziel would complete the gong show in Montreal under Reed’s rule.

    • Trent Richardson // January 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm //

      You need to bottom-out first. Getting rid of Kavis is the fundamental part of that. Getting Johnny Headcase = Kavis finally getting fired.

      • Kavis Reed is such a bad GM, the likeliest explanation for his performance is that he’s seeking revenge for his most embarrassing moment: Too Many Men Saskatchewan!

        He needs to go. NOW!

  2. I’ve said it for two weeks….Manziel is going to Montreal…that’s why the agent is sabotaging the negotiations with Hamilton….Manziel wants half a million and the starter’s role from game 1….neither will happen in Hamilton….that can ONLY happen in Montreal

    when that happens, both the head coach and the starting QB in Montreal will never have even SEEN a CFL game, let alone participated in one

  3. Still no word as to position coaches for Sherman.

  4. The problem with Manziel no matter who signs him at whatever cost is that
    if he is successful and lights up the league and behaves himself, he will once again become a valuable commodity to the NFL and as such will be gone after one season or maybe two. So that’s all the CFL team will get out of him. If he turns out to be a flop, it will be a huge waste of money. Best thing for everyone to do is pass on him.

    • BleedsGreen // January 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm //

      The odds are very good at that happening based on Jones, Austin and Tillman’s evaluations. Fans can speculate all they want to and spin negative criticism. The bottom line for me is that those who who have evaluated him, read his profile from professionals, interviewed him, reviewed his medical assessments including Randy Ambrosie believe he is good to go.

      I can’t wait to see him on the big field. #comebackSZN

    • People have said the same thing about a lot of great American prospects over the years. It is, in fact, part of why the CFL exists: to be a repository for potential NFL’ers who need an option to continue to play pro ball, and prove they’re good enough to get to the NFL.

      Imagine if we’d said no to Doug Flutie or Warren Moon or Johnny Rogers on those grounds. Manziel will have to prove he can play in the NFL. That won’t happen in one season. All of the aforementioned players did BIG things for their teams while in the CFL.

      As a lifetime Als fan, I’m more than willing to take the risk on a Heisman winner. Again. What other choice do we have? Sgt. Schiltz? Darian Do-Nothing?

  5. just make a deal with Montreal and move on from this CLOWN Manziel. Not sure what is taking Hamilton so long to do this!

  6. Kavis Reed will be a ok GM in a few years. He needs some experience . I don’t think he has worked in the front office very much. He is getting it all at the experience of the Als fan base.

    • I would’ve agreed with you statement if he actually made at one good move in 2017, which he didn’t. Bad releases (Woods), trades (Green, sadly Jackson) , signings (Durant, Wiley) & putting himself as a coach replacing Chapdelaine (a typical Popp move). I can’t think of one thing he’s done to help the team. One bad move after another. I’m not optimistic on what he’ll be doing in 2018.

  7. Read the article on sportsnet.ca titled the 5 reasons why Hamilton shouldn’t sign Manziel…hit the nail on the head with this one.

  8. Ticats should trade Manziel rights to Als for Durant and offering 1/2 of the bonus $$ – Give cats strong experienced backup to Masoli and mentor to Everett Golson – makes Cats stronger and ensures Als remain in cellar

  9. This is a match made in heaven…Reed and Manziel!

  10. I think what everyone is missing is Manziel really is a special case. I compare him to David Beckham who was a better celebrity than a (Fifa code) Football player. David was a decent midfielder who had a knack for scoring on free kicks by bending the ball around the wall and into the net. I saw him do that once live in a stadium as well on TV. The LA Galaxy made him the very first Designated Player or DP in the MLS as an experiment. LA already had Landon Donovan who was a much better FIFA Football player. They over paid something in the range of 6 M a year from a FIFA football perspective. But..they were buying attention. It worked. Over night the Galaxy supplanted a struggling Lakers team as the IT LA team. Now the MLS has rocketed up as a league using the DP exemption to the salary cap. Toronto FC has three of them and has the biggest salary in the MLS and trophies, attendance and 3rd on the Forbes MLS value list to show for it. Look at all the attention in the states this drama has already brought. The big money now is in Digital advertising and subscriptions. CFL is getting ripped off by ESPN on its digital rights but it is up for negotiations soon. It really does not matter if Manziel fails miserably on the field. In fact most people in North America will tune in to see him fail. Don’t you see? The CFL will win whether he succeeds or fails on the field. The attention is worth many millions in paid media if the CFL tried to buy it. It was the same with Beckham who did ok on the field but Fifa football fans all knew it was Landon Donovan that won LA the cups. But really Manziel is a far better a football player than Beckham was in their respective codes.

    • The Als tried that with Michael Sam a couple of years ago. That was publicity was like a dry heave. Manziel will probably have the same effect for the team & he can’t play in the pro league so Hamilton can keep his CFL rights.

      • If Michael Sam could play. I mean, if he had been a beast, overshadowing even the play of a veteran like John Bowman, helped the Alouettes win games and more…the team would have embraced him, not despite the media circus, a winning team would’ve embraced that and his bloated salary too.

        If Manziel could provide the Alouettes with a competent winning, dynamic quarterback, the team, the fans everyone will welcome him with open arms.

        More likely he’s a b*m. But we’re hardly in a position to be picky.

  11. Look it’s obvious the Als have been in trouble since Cavillo retired. Even before Cavillo retired Montreal lost some key offensive linemen as FA’s went to other teams.

    In the end Cavillo wasn’t getting the protection that he was receiving when he was at the height of his success. Montreal has brought in many potential QB replacements, and to no overall success. They even tried one former Heisman Trophy winner in Troy Smith, but he wasn’t a scrambler. Manziel COULD be the “savior” for Montreal, with a weak O line, and his ability to scramble and improvise and make plays. Something like Doug Flutie used to do.

    The problem being Johnny Football is a spoiled kid, used to high income, from college, to pro NFL signing, and endorsements. Let’s stop the drama and circus, cut him loose Hamilton, trade for something? Draft choices, or O Linemen nationals. I feel for Durian Durant, because he had no O Line last year to be fair. Make a move Kavis

    • Take this // January 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm //

      Agreed. The first priority for Kavis should be improving his O line. They have a different OC now so perhaps there offensive plays will improve. Hopefully they put Ernest Jackson back in the position where he was successful. But an improved O line is key no matter who they have at the pivot.
      For years, Montreal had a strong defence. Last year, that was no longer true either. They let Thorpe slip away and their D could no longer help keep them in games. Everything went bad.
      If games are won in the trenches, Montreal was beat before the opening kick. Whoever was playing QB was irrelevant, and without some major changes, will be again.

      • BleedsGreen // January 12, 2018 at 12:13 am //

        I have NO doubt that one of the biggest off season moves that Reed has made is the hiring of Miles Gorrell. Miles is a passionate and well respected scout and rock solid human being. His area of expertise is most definitely the Oline, between Gorrell and the new Oline coach watch for a significant upgrade in the Oline- younger, meaner and at least 2 Americans (much cheaper and arguably better than NI’s on the Oline- although there is no bigger advocate for Canadian content then Gorrell)

        I am excited to see the 2018 Al’s opener against B.C. in Vancouver. There is synergy with the new coaching staff, excitement in the air and a change in culture led by the leadership of Sherman and Reed.

        Not a big Thorpe fan, he has an old school screamer style that grates on the moral of players- ranks right up there with Chris Sweet. Looking forward to the Carter and Stubler 2018 D.

        If I lived in Montreal I would buy season tickets today. Could be some of the most exciting football in a long time ( yes guy especially last years season…).

        Impressed with Reeds off season moves, have heard about some of the positional coaches. Khari has hired the best receiver coach in the league, imho, look for EJ to be put back in the position he excels at (one of the things Sherman is known for- players play to area of strengths).

        Can’t wait ‘TIL TC.

        • How can you possibly justify such optimism? WE have no quarterback. The best defence in the league from 2 seasons ago was wiped out by the need to pay Durant.
          It’s certainly refreshing to see some new coaches and scouts etc.
          But the game happens on the field. Not on the sidelines. And we haven’t got a team.

    • Calvillo’s retirement hasn’t been the problem.

      The two week period when Calvillo was promoted, first from receivers coach to quarterback coach, then to offensive coordinator, at the beginning of his first season EVER as a coach, and then the insistence that he was to be the future leader of the team on the sidelines, despite his demonstrable incompetence at the job, leading to the impossibility of hiring a competent HC or GM…

      That has been the problem.

  12. Unless the interviewer isn’t giving us the entire outline of Reed’s thinking – it’s clear to this reader that Kavis Reed’s thought processes on his QB are bordering on the delusional. QB as CEO but we want a younger guy and intrigued by Manziel type qualifications. Sounds like he’s channeling Donald Trump in clarity.

    He’d be smart to get on his knees and get Kevin Glenn back while he finds a QB (other than Manziel) who can play.

    In the meantime, get that O Line together so you can protect your guy.

    Durant looked done last year and Drew Willy is simply not able to play fast enough to succeed.

    • We tried Glenn already & it did not work. He rarely advanced the ball past midfield. Willey & Manziel aren’t capable of playing the pro leagues. Time to look for other options. There must be be some capable hungry players looking to prove themselves on the gridiron.

      • Rakeem Cato sitting on a couch getting fat, if that’s even possible for such a beanpole, is probably the greatest indictment of this franchise…ever. And I sat through the blacklisting of Adrian McPherson for half a decade.
        Queue racially motivated outrage…

    • Channelling Diamond Dolt Donny in clarity. That was exactly my impression when I listened to the interview.


      It might be time to serve some honesty up to beleaguered Montreal fans. Before they turn of the team for good.

  13. Bleeding Green // January 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm //

    I can see Manziel and Reed going for drinks.

  14. So many here do not have a clue on manziels capabilities and talent. There is not a quarterback say in last 5 years in cfl who got a look in the nfl draft let alone drafted from college. There is not a quarterback who based onvtheir performace up in cfl got an invite and was made an offer. Manziel was one of the best college quarterback ever and was know not just in Texas but by all universities as Johnny Fiotball as he was watched by all America. He was drafted in first round by Cleveland browns and it was not because of talent that his contracted was terminated it was for off field issues including drug and alcohol addiction. If those off field issues were not there he would today be ONE of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. That is a given. Nfl are waiting to see a comeback in the cfl. On and off the field.

    Everyone is hung up on the salary in the negotiation. They are negotiating positions. The article by Donovan Bennett in sports network seemed to hinge on manziels agent request and everyone assumes it is $540k. What number would Donovan believe is good. How about same as mazoli ie $250 k with 50k for performance.

    • BleedsGreen // January 12, 2018 at 12:30 am //

      It is a fluid negotiation and frankly, Burkhardt’s comments have been taken out of context. I don’t think he has any idea that Collaros was the highest paid QB last year- if he was paid for performance instead of a guaranteed contract of 540 he would have made 100 or so less.

      The football execs from the League who have evaluated him -lately- believe he has the potential to be Flutie 2.0. Nothing in football is guaranteed, players are vulnerable to injuries every time they get on the field.

  15. Chris Jones was so wrong! Durant was nowhere near even moderately successful last year! Enjoy your backup role somewhere Darian you deserve what your getting.

  16. So let’s see: he was part of the decision to move Brandon Bridge to Saskatchewan. The he hollows out our defence to get an old, remarkably average, fragile Durant, well past his sell-by date. He gets rid of Rakeem Cato. Then he gets rid of Vernon Adams Junior.

    Yup. You can really tell his priority is to develop a young, talented quarterback of the future…by getting rid of 3 such players in a little over over one season.

    I’m sure Riders and Eskimos fans are used to this bull. But the Alouettes have been teetering on the edge for 3 seasons or so. We need transparency and honesty. Not some *&%$ who thinks he has to “educate the fans” on the complexities of his GM kungfu.
    Ugh. Plus ca change…

  17. Edward Leslie // January 15, 2018 at 6:35 am //

    Very good points Joe and Nostredummass.
    Kavis says we need to develop a young starting QB, but why get rid of Bridge, Cato and Adams then? And wasn’t it him that signed an injury prone 35-year old Durant and is now signing 30 year old Josh Freeman, who hasn’t played much for two or three years?? Kavis Reed is clearly out of his league as a General Manager. He should be demoted to Defensive backs coach or maybe even Quality Control Coach. Right now he’ll be in charge of “Damage Control” in Montreal! In a little over one year, he’s responsible for a lot of damage to that organization.

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