Post-Durant era will be Chris Jones’ legacy in Saskatchewan

Will he stay or will he go? That’s the question currently dominating the conversation in Saskatchewan right now.

Franchise quarterback Darian Durant is just a few months away from potentially becoming a free-agent. It’s something that seemed unimaginable over the course of Durant’s tenure as the team’s starting quarterback. After all, the man known as “Doubles” is just four touchdown passes shy of Kent Austin for second all-time in team history. He’s been the face of the franchise for as long as a number of young fans can remember.

The fact is, this could happen. Durant knows that this could be one of his final chances to get starting quarterback money as he heads toward the other side of 35. He’s earned his right to chase down whatever number he feels fair, no matter where that might be. There’s no doubt he wants to remain in Saskatchewan, but sometimes it’s just not in the cards.

The team also has interest in Durant, as they should, and they should do everything in their power to get him under contract for at least next season if not longer. That said, the number has to work for the team as well. Chris Jones doesn’t believe in making friends or making decisions for sentimental reasons. It’s harsh, but that’s what is needed in football and has been lacking around here over the years.

Currently, it feels like both sides are doing their posturing and once the pressure of the free agency deadline looms, a deal should get done.

No matter how this contract negotiation plays out, what happens to this team when Durant leaves or is replaced, be it this year or down the road, will likely be the legacy Jones leaves in Riderville. Should Durant depart this offseason, there are serious questions surrounding the quarterback position with this team.

Jones told reporters today he has a good read on the four other guys on the roster right now and he feels like they could win with one of them. Whether that’s true or not is all hypothetical at this point. Even if the Riders do lock up Durant for a few years, the search should still be on to find the next great pivot in Saskatchewan. It only makes sense to have this mystery quarterback learn from Durant for a year or two before taking over the reigns.

Ultimately, if Jones is unable to find the next quarterback, if he’s forced into this year or not, that will be the one memory fans will have of Jones in green and white, no matter who else he may unearth along the way as you cannot win in the CFL without a quarterback.

If the next guy turns out to be a great pivot, Durant will be remembered fondly for everything he did but a tough football decision was made. If he’s not? Well, it will be a tough pill to swallow.

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