Call the doctor: Alouettes acquire rights to veteran NFL offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from Stampeders

Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File

The Montreal Alouettes have acquired the rights to National offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in a trade with the Calgary Stampeders, prompting speculation that the long-time NFL offensive lineman may wish to return home to finish his pro football career.

Duvernay-Tardif has played 54 games over five seasons in the NFL, helping the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV following the 2019 campaign. In 2020, the former Collège André-Grasset Phénix shared the Lou Marsh Trophy with Alphonso Davies, an honour awarded yearly to Canada’s top athlete.

Drafted in the sixth round (200th overall) during the 2014 NFL Draft, Duvernay-Tardif played eight games with the New York Jets last season but does not currently have an NFL contract. The Stampeders had selected him in the third round (19th overall) in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft.

In exchange for the rights to Duvernay-Tardif, Montreal sends Calgary two conditional picks. If the McGill alumnus signs with the Alouettes, or any other CFL team, in 2022 or any subsequent season, Montreal will send its second-round pick to Calgary.

Additionally, the Stampeders would have the option to swap their first-round picks in the subsequent draft if the Alouettes’ pick is higher than that of the Stampeders. If Montreal does not have a first-round pick, Calgary would retain this right for the following season.

“We are happy to have proceeded with this transaction. Laurent is a football icon in Montreal and Quebec. We can only be winners in this transaction because even if Laurent never wears an Alouettes uniform, he will be able to openly support his hometown team without feeling any remorse,” Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia said in a statement.

“We wish him the best success with his football career moving forward, and are satisfied knowing that if he does play in Canada, he will do so in a city and a stadium that he knows very well. He would also finally be able to wear the letters M.D. on the back of his jersey like he has been wanting to do.”

The 31-year-old resident of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC juggles his medical and professional football careers, becoming the first doctor of medicine to play in the NFL. He opted out of the 2020 NFL season to be a full-time doctor and help those in need at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, for which he received the prestigious Sportsman of the Year award from Sports Illustrated.

The Alouettes play at Percival Molson Stadium, mere feet from the hospital where Duvernay-Tardif studied medicine.