Deep down, everyone just wants to feel wanted.
And it seems that’s exactly what Darian Durant got when he signed his three-year deal with Montreal.
Decked out in a red and blue checked shirt – in honour of his new colours – Durant signed his contract, showed off his new No. 4 jersey and spoke with media Friday morning about his future.
“I guess it just comes down to want,” Durant said about the deal with the Alouettes.
“This organization wanted me here, wanted me to lead and be a part of everything going forward and (Saskatchewan) wanted to go in a different direction.”
It didn’t always seem that way. Back in the latter part of the season, it seemed a deal between Durant and the Riders was imminent.
But last week, general manager and head coach Chris Jones said something changed when Durant’s agent got involved and that’s why he worked out the trade with the Alouettes.
When asked, Durant was at a loss to describe just why Chris Jones didn’t want him back in green and white.
“I think everything I’ve shown and everything I’ve done showed that I wanted to finish my career there, so I think that’s something you have to ask him. I have no idea,” he said.
When Jones addressed media last week, he said he wanted Durant, but it became clear that the two sides couldn’t come together on the numbers.
Durant ended up signing a three-year deal in Montreal reportedly worth $1.25 million. During the same press conference, Jones noted he intended to be fiscally responsible.
“We’re going to offer fair market value contracts and that’s what we did, we offered a fair market value contract and unfortunately we couldn’t get anything done.”
Understandably, there was much curiosity about Durant’s time in Saskatchewan and why it didn’t work out. But Durant didn’t want to focus on that too much in his new home.
“I had a great time in Saskatchewan the past 11 years, but it’s time to turn the page on that chapter,” he said.
“I want to do everything in my power to make sure we (Montreal) get back to our winning ways and that’s not just the playoffs – it’s all about Grey Cups. That’s my sole focus.”
Durant also made a long-awaited appearance on The Green Zone Friday afternoon. He says he took pay cuts in the past to stay in Saskatchewan but felt the Riders were less interested this time.
“The things that were said and who they compared me to around the league, all things that in my opinion were disrespectful,” Durant said.
Durant apologized to Riders fans about how his time in green ended but insists it was out of his control.