Quarterback Darian Durant is going to take his time before deciding where to continue his football career.
The 35-year-old was released by the Alouettes on Monday after the team elected against paying a $150,000 off-season bonus. That’s made Durant a free agent for the first time in his CFL career, so he can survey the market and choose his next spot.
Winnipeg would make sense for a couple main reasons. Reconnecting with long-time Riders teammate and good friend Weston Dressler is appealing as well as offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice, who spent two seasons calling plays for Durant in Saskatchewan (2008 and 2009). Durant would be the backup to entrenched starter Matt Nichols.
But there are two East Division teams who might need a veteran presence at the quarterback position: Toronto and Hamilton.
The Argos signed up-and-coming young pivot James Franklin to a two-year deal and are waiting to hear whether or not Ricky Ray will return for another season. If Ray retires and ends his career on top, Toronto might want an experienced quarterback on the roster.
The same could be true in the Steel City. The Ticats inked starter Jeremiah Masoli for two years and even if Johnny Manziel comes to Hamilton, they would have precious little experience behind Masoli.
Returning to Montreal is on the table though it’s unclear how much of a priority that is for Durant. Josh Freeman, Matthew Shiltz and Antonio Pipkin are under contract for the Als in 2018 and there is one start among them. But that was the same situation at quarterback before Montreal set Durant free.
Expect the 11-year veteran to sit back in the pocket, progress through the options and zero in on the best one.