CFL’s Montreal Alouettes acquire rights to former Chiefs, Jets guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

By Nick Shook, Around the NFL writer

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is still waiting to see whether the NFL comes calling this fall.

That doesn’t mean the NFL’s neighbors to the north are going to be as patient. Duvernay-Tardif, who is pausing his football career to complete a medical residency, has a new home in the Canadian Football League — if he wants it.

The CFL’s Calgary Stampeders traded the rights to Duvernay-Tardif to the Montreal Alouettes on Friday, the league announced. In exchange for the rights to sign Duvernay-Tardif, Calgary is receiving two conditional picks. If the Canadian guard signs with the Alouettes or any other team in the CFL in 2022 or beyond, Montreal will send its second-round pick to Calgary, while the Stampeders will also have the option to swap their first-round pick with the Alouettes’ selection, should the latter’s be in a higher position.

Another way in which the Alouettes are trying to entice Duvernay-Tardiff is by allowing him to have M.D. added to his name on his jersey.

“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 on the league website.

“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.”

Duvernay-Tardif was the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, setting aside his football career with the Kansas City Chiefs to assist in the fight against the coronavirus. He returned to the field in 2021, spending the season as a member of the New York Jets and appearing in eight games (seven starts).

The 31-year-old said in early June he felt he’d “earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just for football” with the belief he’d garner interest from NFL teams in September. As teams prepare to open training camp later this month, Duvernay-Tardif will continue his residency while also preparing for a potential return to the NFL.

If that doesn’t work out, an option in his native country of Canada remains.

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