Canadian OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announces retirement after nine-year NFL career

Photo: AP/Reed Hoffmann

Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has announced his retirement after nine seasons in the NFL.

The native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que. was a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft out of McGill University. The two-time first-team All-Canadian was awarded the J. P. Metras Trophy in 2013 as the top down lineman in U Sports football and tested well at his pro day, running a 5.08-second forty-yard dash, leaping 32 inches in the vertical jump, and performing 34 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

The six-foot-five, 315-pound blocker dressed for 60 games over eight seasons with the Chiefs, making 57 starts. He helped the team win Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020 when his team defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 31-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Duvernay-Tardif, the first active NFL player to graduate from medical school, opted out of the 2020 season to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He worked as an orderly in a long-term care facility in Quebec and also served on the NFLPA’s COVID-19 task force in order to ensure a safe return to play for his fellow players. He also launched the Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Foundation with his longtime girlfriend, Florence, to ensure physical activity and creativity are a part of a child’s development and educational success.

The 32-year-old returned to the NFL in 2021 was traded to the New York Jets, dressing for eight games with seven starts. He went unsigned following the season but returned to the Jets in 2022, joining their practice roster in November and eventually being promoted to the active roster. He played five games that season with one start.

“I’ve had the chance to play in the NFL for nine years and even today, I sometimes can’t believe I was able to experience this adventure. Being a professional athlete is a privilege as well as an extremely enriching human and personal experience. The victories, losses and injuries have all been moments to learn how to win and lose as a team while managing a wide range of emotions,” he wrote on social media.

“Thank you to my teammates and staff of the Chiefs, Jets and McGill for supporting me in this journey. Thanks to Sasha (Ghavami), my friend and right-hand man who agreed without hesitation to represent me as my agent while studying for the bar exam in
2013. I would have never been able to navigate my way to the draft without you. You always believed in us more than I believed in myself.”

Duvernay-Tardif, who won the prestigious Lou Marsh Trophy and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year in 2020, earned $25.97 million USD over the course of his NFL career.