Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has long prioritized football, but now the call of medicine is felt. The guard will begin his residency on 1er July while keeping a door open to jump on the field in the NFL in the fall if the opportunity arises.
• Read also: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif becomes a free agent
Duvernay-Tardif, who played from 2014 to 2021 with the Kansas City Chiefs before being traded to the New York Jets in November, has been a free agent since March.
He assures that he has discussed with teams interested in his services for next season and that he has even received three firm offers from clubs that he prefers not to identify.
However, those who obtained their medical degree at McGill University in May 2018 must begin their residency if they wish to continue on this path.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in May 2018.
Last November, he completed his admissions application process, as this was the last cycle on which he could apply for his residency. Accepted, he recently obtained his work permit. He now intends to specialize in family medicine and emergency medicine.
“The goal has always been to do medicine for the next 40 years. I stretched my course as much as possible to maximize the football, but I got to the point where the priority must be medicine. We are talking about a two-year specialization program and without the introductory phase, I would risk jeopardizing my career,” said Duvernay-Tardif, who will work in the McGill-affiliated health network.
- Listen to Jean-François Baril’s sports column on QUB radio:
An open door
This residential introductory phase will stretch over two months, which means that in September, if an NFL team shows up and the interest proves to be mutual, it would not be too late to dive back in. in the bath.
“I continue to train and I will see in September how I feel, but the teams that have contacted me are comfortable with the situation. I couldn’t be more transparent about that. I prioritize medicine while leaving an open door to myself, ”noted Duvernay-Tardif.
bet on himself
After giving up on the 2020 season to lend a hand in CHSLDs in Quebec at the start of the pandemic and having been sidelined by the Chiefs for two months, he quickly fell back on his feet in New York.
Away from the field for 18 months, he regained his starting position after just 10 days. This makes the friendly giant say that he could do the same thing again, even if he misses summer training camp.
“I’m not pretentious and I don’t like to say that, but I decided to bet on myself. After eight years in the NFL, I earned that right,” he said.
“During all these years in football, you are told that you are not essential, that you can be replaced and that you are a pawn on the chessboard. I will take the chance to change this narrative,” he continued.
The Super Bowl above all
In this context, Duvernay-Tardif will continue to listen if an opportunity arises and the market for its services will not be a factor.
“If I’m going there, it’s to have a real opportunity to win another Super Bowl. Money will not play a role in my decision,” said the guard.
In peace if it’s the end on the grounds
Over the years since he was drafted into the NFL, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has repeatedly proven that it is better not to bet against him. If, however, his football journey were to end this year, he would be fully at ease.
“I’m 100% comfortable if this is the end,” he said.
“In a very humble way, I consider that I did what I had to do in football. If I keep playing, it’s only because I’m bitten by this feeling of being in front of 80,000 people in an electrifying stadium and winning as a team. I have not turned the page, but if there is no more football, there is no more football.
Reservist? Not so fast!
That has the merit of being clear. However, if he receives a call and agrees to put on the shoulder pads again, it would be rude to believe that Duvernay-Tardif will settle for an obscure role.
In the NFL, training camps in July and August inevitably leave their mark. While some players fall in battle, others find themselves at the mercy of the economic reality of the salary cap.
Therefore, an alignment in September is not always the one imagined in June.
“I have rarely known talented players who brought just depth, even if they started as reserves with a team. The reality is that there are always injuries.
“I don’t live in denial either. I don’t expect that if I arrive at week 1, without training camp, I will be told: ”here are the keys to the guardhouse on the right,” said Duvernay-Tardif.
In the discussions between the interested teams and his agent Sasha Ghavami, the “Doc” understood that even by taking the risk of making them languish, he could quickly earn his place.
“I was told that it can make a lot of teams feel safer to have a guard who was traded and who became a starter after 10 days for a new team, after being on the sidelines for a year and a half. The argument that I haven’t played for a long time could quickly be overturned.
For the moment, however, it will only be medicine and training on the program.
“There will be no more public appearances from 1er July, there will be no more dinner, foundation fundraising activities… I will give myself the opportunity to invest myself in my passion for medicine.”