Family, age propelled Darian Durant to retire

With a new baby in the family and his wife's busy schedule, veteran quarterback Darian Durant said it made sense to call it a day after 12 years in the CFL.

Former Roughrider signed 1-year deal with Blue Bombers in January

Darian Durant retired from the CFL after 12 years in the CFL, 11 of which were spent with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. (Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press)

With a new baby in the family and his wife's busy schedule, veteran quarterback Darian Durant said it made sense to call it a day after 12 years in the CFL.

But it's not just his family, Durant told CBC Radio's The Morning Edition — his body just isn't responding the way it used to, the 35-year-old said.

"You add those things up ... it was just a lot for me so I just decided to hand them up and spend a lot more time with my family and move on to the next chapter of life," Durant said.

Durant announced his retirement on Friday, less than four months after he signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The long-time Saskatchewan Roughrider QB spent the last season with the Montreal Alouettes.

Durant said his wife, who runs her own business, would not be able to make it out to Winnipeg too often. In addition, he wouldn't see her four-month-old daughter for about six months if he were to continue playing.

"Watching my daughter grow. Watching her hold her bottle or say her first words or take her first crawls or steps — those are the things I don't want to miss."

Game days in Regina will be the thing Durant will miss most.

"Rider Nation definitely shows up, no matter what your record is during the season. They come in full force to support their team."

The highlight of Durant's time with the Riders is easily the 101st Grey Cup, when the Roughriders triumphed over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2013 at Taylor Field. 

Taylor is also his daughter's middle name.

Surprise to Bombers

Durant's retirement came as a surprise to the Bombers, who were "extremely disappointed" after first seeing the news on social media. 

"It's something that I wanted to come out a couple of weeks ago," Durant said of his retirement, adding that his agent had been in talks with the Bombers general manager during that time. 

Instead, the situation became prolonged and drawn out, Durant said. 

"I just took it upon myself to go ahead and announce it because I didn't want to handicap the Blue Bombers and I didn't want to have them wait until the last minute and then not have a replacement in place," Durant said.

Camps begin on May 20.

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition

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