Ducking out: Redblacks’ quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges retires from pro football

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Football is no longer for the birds, as Ottawa Redblacks’ quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges has announced his retirement from the CFL.

After signing a three-year contract mid-way through last season, Hodges arrived in the nation’s capital with high expectations after becoming a minor sensation in the NFL. He now bows out of that deal having never had the chance to live up to the hype, dressing in just four games last year and starting one.

“I’d like to thank the Redblacks for bringing me to Ottawa and giving me this opportunity. I have gained a lot of respect for the CFL and its fans – particularly RNation!” Hodges said in a statement. “I’m excited to see what the future holds but I know that the next chapter in my life is going to be fun.”

Hodges finishes his career after going 16-of-38 passing in the CFL for 139 yards and an interception, while adding nine carries for 38 yards. He was unable to unseat rookie Caleb Evans after his late arrival and was bumped further down the Redblacks depth chart after the team signed franchise quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in free agency.

A four-year starter at Samford University, Hodges was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year three times. In 2018, a season in which Hodges set an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for passing yards in a career, he earned the Walter Payton Award as the top player in FCS football.

The 25-year-old signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and played in eight NFL games, six as the team’s starter. He completed 100-of-160 passes (62.5 percent) for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushed 21 times for 68 yards while compiling a 3-3 win-loss record, endearing himself to fans across the league for his unique backstory as a champion duck-caller.

The native of Kimberly, Alabama signed with the Los Angeles Rams ahead of the 2021 season, but was among the team’s final roster cuts.