‘The love of football is still there’: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will reflect on his NFL future in the coming months
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is back home after savoring the joy of a return with the New York Jets in the middle of the season. The time to decide with certainty on its future is not for now.
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He’s a « Doc » in great shape who had a long talk with the Log. After all, he still bet on himself and won his bet.
After long months away from football, he signed with the Jets in mid-November and joined the practice squad first. After a few weeks, he was brought back to the regular roster and even regained his starting right guard position for the game of 1er January, in Seattle.
As for knowing if this success encourages him to want to return to the game or rather to leave on a good note, it will be necessary to wait.
“The love of football is still there. I still have the passion, but I have to weigh the pros and cons,” he said.
In a position to choose
For the offensive lineman, who turns 32 next week, the process looks similar to last year. In other words, no press yet.
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“I am not actively looking for a contract. I want to dive back into my plans here and see what might happen this fall. If along the way I feel that I no longer have the passion for football or that I no longer train as I should, I will make decisions accordingly.
“My mindset is that I have reached a point in my career where I have earned the privilege of putting myself in situations like I put myself this year. Only a small portion of players reach that point after nine years in the NFL,” he said.
During the off-season last year, several teams showed interest in the spring, but Duvernay-Tardif wanted to start his medical residency during the summer. By fall, three teams, including the Jets, still wanted his services.
“Last year at this time of year, I had the same speech as now. At some point, I’ll see if the phone stops ringing or just if I have more to lose than gain from returning to football. I’m not in thinking mode yet. I had the choice last year. We will see if I have it or not this year”, he commented.
File photo, Getty Images via AFP
The free agent market kicks off on March 15, but even then, that’s nothing to upset the nine-year NFL veteran.
“I’m not in the player profile for the free agent market. I’m more part of the profile to improve a team along the way. I am very happy in this category. I now understand the physical impact of all the football that is played before playing a game that counts for real.
As for his second experience with the Jets, Duvernay-Tardif is delighted to have jumped on the train even if the wagons derailed. The Jets lost their last six games to finish with a 7-10 record and were eliminated from the playoffs.
“It’s a disappointment, that’s for sure. You still have collective and personal aspirations. On the team side, it was disappointing to experience this losing streak that prevented us from making the playoffs. It is shared with my individual satisfaction to have been able to find a starting position. I remain very privileged and I have no regrets.
In the months to come, Duvernay-Tardif will not only have his future on the ground in mind. Between family medicine and public health, his heart swings too.
“To choose well, I have to give myself time to think about how I can use the platform that I have built in the NFL to promote something that is close to my heart,” concluded the Doctor.
Sincerely with the Chiefs
We can get Laurent Duvernay-Tardif out of the Chiefs, but we can’t get the Chiefs out of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
The Montrealer may have spent the last two seasons with the Jets, but he can’t help but rejoice when he sees his former team end up in Super Bowl 57, against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Duvernay-Tardif was drafted in the sixth round by the Chiefs and stayed with them until mid-season in 2021, winning the Super Bowl in February 2020.
In recent weeks, he traveled to Kansas City, along with his wife Florence, for the first time since being traded to settle some issues and encourage the Chiefs in the playoffs.
“I was chatting with former teammates who live in Kansas City, but who are no longer with the Chiefs and everyone experiences the cut differently. Me, I went back there with a big smile on my face, I was so happy!”, he reacted.
Always in people’s hearts
Duvernay-Tardif spent four days in his adopted city and found that he had not been forgotten.
“It was important for me to come back, to take a few days to go to all the restaurants and all the little places that we liked, and then go to the game.
“Everyone welcomed us with open arms. I got hitched so often by people on the street telling me Welcome back Doc! I had the motton several times. It’s fun to see that you left a mark in this city,” he said.
A big challenge
Duvernay-Tardif did not get wet in the game of predictions, but he cannot help but realize the magnitude of the challenge that awaits the Chiefs.
“The Super Bowl is often about who has the most complete team and there are a lot of injuries at the Chiefs. It will depend on how it evolves in the next few weeks, but the Eagles look very dominant too. It’s going to be a very good match,” slipped the one who does not hide his bias.
“I’m happy for the Chiefs. You can’t not want these guys to be successful. It’s solemn when I look at them. I live stress, happiness, it’s a mixture of emotions.
“It’s fun to know that I was part of this movement and to have contributed to quietly building the reputation of the Chiefs. My history in football is a lot in Kansas City.”