Darian Durant on possible Riders return: ‘A lot of people would love me’

With Chris Jones leaving Riderville, many are wondering if that could lead to Darian Durant returning to play for Saskatchewan’s beloved football team.

Durant certainly seems open to it.

“I’ll leave that up to the fans. Let’s do a poll and see how they feel about it and we’ll go from there, Durant said on CJME 980 The Green Zone hosted by Jamie Nye.

“We’ll see how that goes. I know that there are a lot of people that would love me.”

Jones departing the Riders for a defensive coaching job with the Cleveland Browns made sense to Durant.

“It wasn’t surprising to me at all, it’s just the nature of the business. Things come up all the time, teams make decisions on players, players make decisions on what teams to go to and coaches have to make decisions on what’s best for them,” Durant said.

“This isn’t new to me, this football profession I’ve been a part of pretty much my entire adult life, so I’ve seen it all. It doesn’t surprise me. He did what was best for him, his family, his career and you can’t fault that.”

The veteran quarterback signed a one-year deal with the Bombers last January which included a $70,000 signing bonus. But Durant kept the upfront cash after he announced his retirement – even though Winnipeg wanted it back – believing he deserved the money.

“Physically I feel great. I’ve been working out almost every day just making sure that I was ready just in case that call came or the decision was made for me to make a play late in the season. I’ve just been continuing to work out, just staying ready,” Durant said.

“Who knows what can happen. My body feels good, so I’m just going to take my time. I’m just enjoying being home with the family right now but I definitely get the itch a little bit from time to time to get back out there and be around the guys. The adrenaline rush that comes with playing football is like none other and I definitely miss that, so we’ll see what happens.”

Durant has 12 years of CFL experience, 11 with the Riders. He’s thrown for 31,740 yards, 167 touchdowns against 115 interceptions in 174 games (128 starts) and currently sits 14th all-time in league passing yards. Durant played in three Grey Cup games with the Riders, winning the 101st edition in Regina to end the 2013 season. Despite not playing a down in 2018, Durant kept up to speed with the happenings around the CFL.

“I definitely stayed close to the game, stayed in contact with my agent just to keep up to date on what’s going on and how teams feel and what they’re thinking. It’s going to be definitely an interesting off-season at the quarterback position,” Durant said.

“There’s going to be openings across the league. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many opportunities for quarterbacks to go different places and start in my career.”

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