Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/5/2018 (1346 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Just to recap, over the course of 48 hours, Darian Durant went from being a snap away from leading the Blue Bombers in the regular season to a guy currently spending his free time bickering and insulting the fanbase and franchise on social media, accusing the front office of lying about his retirement notification timeline, and declaring that he "deserves" the $70,000 that he received as a signing bonus in January.
I’m starting to think all of those kind words he uttered in January were, just maybe, disingenuous?
So how did we go from: "I just want to come in and help out Matt (Nichols) as much as I can and have a role with the team — whether it’s in meetings, whether it’s short-yardage. Whatever the case may be, just come in and bring my veteran presence and try to bring a Grey Cup to Winnipeg."
To ranting on Twitter: "Glad I didn't play there either. The drought continues." And, "I’ve also see(sic) the way your team has played for decades…. When are u guys gonna win? Crickets?"
It seems a debate over two issues has spun Durant back to his original anti-Bomber presets, and we all know the story about zebras and their stripes.
The first subject of contention appears to be when and how Durant chose to notify the football team of his retirement. Apparently, he told Regina radio man Rod Pederson that, "It’s something they’ve known. My agent has been in touch with their GM for the last three weeks. They knew that."
After much weekend investigation, I can tell you that the Bombers had two clues thrown their way about his retirement. One, from the fact that he backed out of attending mini camp on or around April 21, because he was, "...in a rough spot..." and finally, the night before Durant retired, his agent told the football club that things, "didn’t sound real good." The Bombers were certainly aware it was in the realm of possibilities, but they had no prior notice that Durant was officially retiring before he announced it on social media. Those are the facts.
The second point of debate — again, largely over social media — is the $70,000 signing bonus that Durant is keeping because, as he once again told Pederson, "I deserve that."
The argument is that since players get cut by teams, sometimes days before they are due to receive their bonuses, why should Durant feel bad about turnabout being fair play? Well, other than the obvious fact that Durant had done less than nothing for the team other than incite skepticism about his signing from the get-go, there is usually a reason players get cut by teams days before bonuses are due. It’s because they aren’t playing well enough to deserve or earn the bonus, and that is what has been happening to Durant as his career has wound down.
According to the Regina Leader Post, Durant was traded to Montreal last season because he was offered a contract with $300,000 guaranteed, and he thought he was worth $400,000. Almost exactly a year later, after a terrible season with the Alouettes, Durant was released the day before he would have received a $150,000 bonus, as part of a three-year, $1.25 million deal.
You can say whatever you want about Durant’s culpability in Montreal’s 3-15 record in 2017, but judging by the state of their current QB stable, he must have underwhelmed his bosses, to be released outright. These two teams, however, were not moving on from Durant out of spite, they were parting ways with him because his skills had deteriorated to the point where they felt he wasn’t worth the money anymore. And that is never easy for any athlete to hear or digest. In fact, some will refuse to see the writing on the wall, no matter how many wrong turns their career has taken.
So what do you do as a player, when your ego tells you one thing about your value and ability, and your performances conflict with this, and the tape tells everybody else that you are on your way out? Apparently, you take the last deal that you are offered in pro football, as a backup, and you get your revenge on a team that did nothing wrong to you, other than give you a final chance to play.
Doug Brown, once a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, appears weekly in the Free Press.
Doug Brown, always a hard-hitting defensive lineman and frequently a hard-hitting columnist, appears Tuesdays in the Free Press.
Read full biography