Duron Carter feels like he has a lot of football left in him.
“I could definitely play until I’m 40, I don’t have any aches or pains, I’m going all the way,” Carter told The Rod Pedersen Show. “Football has always been my first love. Being able to go out and play, it’s something I always want to do until I can’t anymore.”
The 28-year-old was signed by the B.C. Lions in free agency last year. He played all 18 regular season games with the Leos and caught 67 balls for 614 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Reilly was the trigger man in B.C. and Carter admitted he could’ve had a better rapport with the Lions franchise QB.
“My approach to the season and just having to get on a better page with Mike Reilly early and understanding where needs me and the type of quarterback that he is because he’s a real visual quarterback, he needs to see it done all the time,” Carter said.
“Most of my career everybody’s been, ‘well he’s going to do it, you just gotta trust him.’ It’s that trust issue right there that hindered our football relationship. We were getting it going before he got hurt at the end of the season.”
B.C. general manager Ed Hervey released Carter six days after the 2019 regular schedule was over. He’s been a free agent ever since, being patient about choosing his next team. Carter has played in 91 career CFL games making 343 catches for 4,764 yards with 30 touchdowns.
“The times when I do go all out and play to where I want to play at, people don’t accept it. It brings me a lot more hardships. When I am allowed to be the emotional player I am, ride the wave of the game, that’s where I thrive most of the time,” Carter said.
“But that hasn’t gotten me the longevity I need in a career. For me I think I have to find a happy medium of pleasing myself and pleasing everybody else. It’s a business deal at first before it’s a relationship.”
Carter’s best CFL season came in 2017 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders when he led the green and white with 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns (including one on defence). Those numbers earned Carter the Riders’ Most Outstanding Player award.
Chris Jones re-signed Carter for the 2018 season and he was due to make $144,000 in hard money. He made eight receptions for 111 yards in seven games while recording 13 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown plus one knockdown as a defensive back before Saskatchewan cut him that August. It was a surprise to Carter.
“Football is football. You get released, you get signed, you play. I loved playing for Regina, I loved playing in Saskatchewan. That was the best times I ever had playing football,” Carter said.
The star pass catcher ‘definitely would’ be open to a return with the Riders if the current regime of general manager Jeremy O’Day and head coach Craig Dickenson came calling. Regardless of where Carter plays next, he’s seriously considering a switch to the defensive side of the football.
“Honestly, I would like to play cornerback because it allows me to be free and be the player that I need to be and that I know I can be. Offence as I’m getting older and seeing all these different offences, there’s so many people you have to please just to get you the ball four times in a game,” Carter said.
“If it gets to the point where I’m just being a people pleaser, I’m not effective at receiver and that’s shown. For me to play my game, maybe DB would be the best route.”