Durant Sticks it to the Bombers.... And I LOVE It!
Published: Monday, May 14th 2018, 5:05am
by Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
On Friday morning, former Saskatchewan Roughriders Quarterback Darian Durant announced his retirement from the CFL via a statement from his website and social media went crazy.
Pretty much every Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan lost their collective minds at this because Durant took his $70,000 signing bonus and went home. I'm completely okay with this and in fact, I love it... and here's why:
- Professional athlete's careers are short... VERY short. I have never and will never fault a player for taking money every chance they get. Signing bonuses, playtime bonuses, roster bonuses, free agency, you name it, go get it! Bottom line, the name of the game is money. It's like that in every profession and pro sports is no different.
- CFL contracts aren't guaranteed. As we've seen many times, even to Darian Durant early this year, players are cut the day before a bonus is due to them. A bonus that is negotiated and promised by the team in their contract. Well, that doesn't matter to teams often, and "it's nothing personal, it's just business" and players are cut whenever the team feels like it. It was kind of nice to see the shoe on the other foot for once.
- While it IS kind of a shady thing to do, it HAS happened before... to the Riders. 3 times in the last couple of years actually. One of Chris Jones' first big moves was to trade for receiver Mo Price and signed him to a new contract, one that had a signing bonus of $30,000. Just about every fan outside of Rider fans loved this and thought it was hilarious... because it happened to the Riders. Offensive lineman Bruce Campbell retired after being traded to Saskatchewan and that was funny too... and safety Marc-Olivier Brouillette retired the day before Training Camp and that too, was funny... all because it happened to the Riders. People are pissy this time because it didn't happen to the Riders. Someone must have called 9-1-1 here, because all I've heard is the WAHMBULANCE going by this weekend. Sorry (not sorry) Winnipeg, zero sympathy here.
- Durant DID deserve it, like he said. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were the ones that signed off on a contract that said they would give Durant $70,000 for signing his John Henry. He signed it and he was legally entitled to the money. Keep in mind this was a SIGNING bonus, not a ROSTER bonus or PLAYTIME bonus. I'm not sure why any GM would give a player who knows they are competing for a backup job $70,000 as a signing bonus, but that's just me. ESPECIALLY when all other teams were set with their Quarterback situation, Kyle Walters had ALL the leverage in their contract negotiations and he blew it.
- There's NO conspiracy theory that Bomber fans are throwing around that Durant and the Riders had this planned all along. Are you REALLY that naive to think that the Riders had their FRANCHISE QB get hurt (by your team, mind you) in 2014 when the team was on it's way to another big playoff run, have him hurt AGAIN in 2015 (again, against your team, just not on an illegal hit that wasn't called, but I digress...) and then go through a bad 2016 season and then trade him in 2017 just so he could sign with you and screw you over? I'm not kidding, that is a legit thing I read over the weekend. I just... yikes. Okay Winnipeg...
- Normally, I'm not big on athletes arguing with fans on Twitter, but I just couldn't look away on Sunday morning when Durant replied and shared his side of things. The popcorn was out and I was just enjoying watching it all unfold. Good on him for defending himself. It would have been easy to turn off notifications and just go on your way, but I thought Durant handled it pretty well. Athletes put up with a LOT of crap on social media and I can only imagine how hard it is to not respond, even when you REALLY want to. He knew he was getting under their skin and it was enjoyable.
- The rivalry is back between the Riders and Bombers! Not that it really went anywhere, but oh man. Labour Day and the Banjo Bowl are going to be that much more intense this year. I picture a lot of #4 green jerseys in Winnipeg at the Banjo Bowl (I know mine is ready to go) and maybe some $70,000 signs in the crowd. This will be FUN!
- Finally, I love it because it's the Bombers. Considering they haven't done anything relevant since before the internet became a thing, they sure like to flap their gums often. Yeah, us Rider fans are ones to talk, with our 4 championships and all, but we've won twice more recently than them, including beating them in one of those and winning at home. The last third century has been much kinder to us than them and this is just another thing we can toss at them. 1990. 70k. All great things to yell at them now.
Thanks for everything Darian. You are up on my Mount Rushmore of Saskatchewan Roughriders. Can't wait to see you in the Plaza of Honour!
And remember... it's nothing personal, Bomber fans... just business.
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