TSN's CFL insider, David Naylor, is reporting that Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant is likely to leave via free-agency after this season if starting for the Green and White does not seem feasible.
I discussed the issue Thursday with Durant, who said that he would not be averse to remaining a Roughrider. He did not attach any conditions but, clearly, his decision would be influenced by the likelihood of starting in 2009 and beyond.
"I'm open to coming back,'' Durant said. "I don't want to go anywhere. This is where I got my start and I would like to finish here. These are the best fans in the CFL.
"It's out of my hands. All I can do is just play ball.''
Durant has every reason to play hardball if he continues to be relegated behind Michael Bishop. Durant's abilities were evident in July, when he threw for almost 700 yards over two games. For now, head coach Ken Miller is going with Bishop, but I would expect the Roughriders field boss to exercise little patience Friday against Calgary if the quarterbacking does not improve.
Bishop is the starter, as of today, but Durant is very much the quarterback of the future. Very soon, he could become the quarterback of the present. An adept manager of the game, Durant would benefit from a healthier supporting cast. The suspicion here is that Miller will be much more comfortable turning to Durant when/if D.J. Flick, Andy Fantuz and Wes Cates are back in the lineup.
For now, the classy Durant is saying (and doing) all the right things.
"It gets tough as a competitor,'' he acknowledged. "Anybody who is a competitor, you want to play. You want to be good at what you do. When the opportunity comes, you just want to make the most of it.''
Although Durant covets an opportunity to start, he is very supportive of Bishop. That is evident during and after practice, given the rapport between the two.
"You can't hold any personal grudges,'' Durant said. "Everything that happens, you know that it's a business and it's out of your hands. When you get to worrying about things that are out of your control, that's when you have problems amongst the team. Me and Bish are good friends and we'll never let what's going on on the field get in the way of that.''
For more about Durant, turn to my story on leaderpost.com or in the Leader-Post.
— ROB VANSTONE.