Riders trade the rights to Darian Durant to Alouettes for draft picks

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have traded the rights to quarterback Darian Durant to the Montreal Alouettes for a fourth round draft pick in 2017 and a conditional second rounder in 2018.

Durant played 11 seasons in Saskatchewan, winning two championships – including the 2013 Grey Cup, held in Regina – and finishes with 58-54 record in 113 starts. He was an West Division all-star in 2009 and 2013.

But the 34-year-old Durant was set to become a free agent in February and, with contract talks going nowhere, vice president of football operations and head coach Chris Jones has elected to get something in return for his quarterback.

For the Alouettes, they get a bona fide starting quarterback without sacrificing a player from their roster – something they’ve been looking for since the retirement of Anthony Calvillo in 2013 – assuming they can get his name on a contract extension. 3DownNation’s Justin Dunk, who reported that a trade was in the offing last week, wrote that the Riders had been interested in young Alouettes’ pivot Vernon Adams.

The move leaves the Riders with five quarterbacks on the roster, all with limited CFL experience. The team, which is set to open their new $278 million stadium next season is coming off a 2016 in which they finished 5-13and missed the playoffs.

A fan favourite, Durant’s departure is unlikely to be popular with the patrons of Riderville and there was plenty of reaction around the league after the early morning announcement.

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