Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran QB Darian Durant Says Contract Talks with Roughriders Stalled

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran QB Darian Durant Says Contract Talks with Roughriders Stalled

Article excerpt

Durant: Contract talks with Riders stalled

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REGINA - Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant expressed disappointment and uncertainty over stalled contract talks between him and the team as his Saskatchewan teammates emptied their lockers to close out a dull 2016 season.

"I think right now it's pretty much at a stand still," Durant told a throng of reporters surrounding his locker Sunday morning.

The 34-year-old is set to become a free agent in February if he and the Roughriders don't come to a new deal that keeps him in Regina.

"I think we've presented an offer that we feel is more than reasonable, and it's up to the team to accept it," he said. "I took a pay cut this year coming in. I'm willing to take another pay cut. I feel like I've done my part."

Durant's dejection Sunday was a marked change from late September, when both he and general manager Chris Jones spoke optimistically about signing a new contract.

"Of course I thought there was an opportunity, but you know, I guess with them rejecting that, of course I have no choice but to think that it may go in a different direction," Durant said.

Chris Jones wasn't available for comment on Sunday, instead he's set to hold a year-end news conference Monday morning.

Reflecting on a season where the Riders went 5-13 -- two wins better than 2015 -- Durant said the team was "unable to build the type of chemistry we needed to be successful."

That was due in part to a constantly changing roster, a symptom of several injuries that kept experienced starters sidelined for most or all of 2016.

That required Jones and Riders' brass to constantly bring in new players and to contend with roster ratios for Canadian and international starters.

"It was hard not being on the field this year. I worked really hard this off-season to get as strong as I could, as fast as I could to contribute. And then unfortunately I got hurt during training camp," said Canadian guard Chris Best. …

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