Riders’ Brendon LaBatte has no regrets over missed NFL opportunity

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Over the last decade or so, Saskatchewan Roughriders’ left guard Brendon LaBatte has been one of the best and most consistent big men in the CFL.

He’s consistently been in the running for the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman award since breaking into the league, winning the title in 2013.

LaBatte’s been so good, no one would blame him if he ever wondered “what if” when it comes to his NFL workouts when he was a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Even though the NFL comes with a larger paycheque, LaBatte has no regrets.

“At that point in my career, when I was looking to go down there, I was thinking I’d rather try to be be a bigger fish in a small pond than go down there and get lost,” LaBatte told the 620 CKRM Sports Cage.

During the option year of his rookie deal, LaBatte worked out with the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts. While LaBatte is happy with how his career has turned out, that workout in Pittsburgh still stands out in his mind to this day.

“If anything, I probably would have signed with Pittsburgh had I known how the futures contracts worked. I remember being there and Mike Tomlin introducing himself, he had good idea who I was. There was contracts upstairs waiting, after one of the easiest workouts of all my workouts,” said the Weyburn, Saskatchewan native.

LaBatte went on to Indianapolis for another workout and thought if they really wanted him another offer may have come.
“If they want me, maybe there’s money up front further down the line. That’s probably the one chance I had.”
LaBatte adds that the CFL lifestyle has afforded him the luxury of exploring other passions in life, so he’s thankful for that.
“With the racing and I spend a lot of time outdoors. That’s something I’ve really enjoyed too.”