Many players on the Saskatchewan Roughriders like to keep themselves busy in the five-month CFL off-season, but few had a more eventful time than star receiver Duron Carter — at least to the public’s eye.
In February, Carter was arrested for marijuana possession after landing at the Saskatoon airport around midnight the night before a celebrity sports dinner. It compounded an additional charge out of Winnipeg for possession of a controlled substance in November of 2017.
Speculation instantly swirled around what the Riders would do with their star player.
Carter didn’t seem too concerned with his legal obstacles after finishing practice on Saskatchewan’s first day of training camp.
“It’s in court. If you wanted to go look it up, you could,” he said of his charges. ” It’s being handled right now. For me it’s smooth sailings.”
When asked if he had any worry about the charges, Carter plainly stated, “You should be worried about any type of legal trouble.”
Complicating matters is the 27-year-old’s importance to his team and a one-year extension he signed a little more than a week before the arrest.
Aside from being the Rider’s top pass catcher last season with 73 catches, 1043 yards and eight touchdowns, Carter also started one game at cornerback, in which he returned an interception for a touchdown.
If day one of camp is any indication, the Riders will expect plays on both sides of the ball after taking defensive reps for some drills on Sunday.
“I only took a few, I was tired out there today,” Carter said of his time at cornerback. “It’s going to be a work in progress.”
“I’m trying to be out there as much as I can. I really don’t want to be able to take a play off.”
Carter added that he’s trying to strengthen his lungs so he can play upwards of 130 plays a game this season.
Entering his fifth CFL season, Carter feels a little bit more urgency to take on a larger role and be a leader.
“I’m a legit vet now,” he said. “It’s really refreshing, seeing guys come out here — it’s the first time they’re playing CFL football.”
“Getting a chance to tell them the rules… it’s just fun.”
He didn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts on Johnny Manziel joining the CFL, a day after the popular quarterback signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“Johnny Manziel is a great player. We’ve seen him do amazing things. Can’t wait to pick him off,” Carter said with a chuckle.
Jokes and sarcasm are part of the reason that Carter has built up a large fanbase in his short time with the Roughriders.
Controversial or not, he can’t help how his off-season antics and reputation are perceived by fans.
“Some people like me even more,” Carter said. “Some people even went and got my jersey like, ‘Yeah, Saskatchewan green!”
“I’m done trying to change people’s opinion about me. Eventually, I’m not going to be playing football and you guys aren’t going to remember Duron Carter again.”
Practice alternates between Griffiths Stadium and Saskatoon Minor Football Field at Gordie Howe Complex throughout the week. All practices begin at 9 a.m.