Saskatchewan

Insider trading: Kerry Joseph on what it's like to be traded in the CFL

Few people know what it's like to be in Darian Durant's shoes, but Kerry Joseph is pretty familiar with the feeling.

Following Darian Durant trade, former Roughrider offers insight on being a traded quarterback

Former Roughriders quarterback Kerry Joseph offers some insight into what it's like to be traded in the CFL. (Brent Just/Getty Images)

Few people know what it's like to be in Darian Durant's shoes, but Kerry Joseph is pretty familiar with the feeling. The two former Roughrider quarterbacks have shared a lot in their time in the Canadian Football League.

They've both worn number 4 for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they've both led the team to become Grey Cup Champions in the past 10 years, they each received Grey Cup rings in 2007 and they even shared the top job for the Riders briefly in 2014, after Durant injured his elbow and the 41-year-old Joseph returned to line up behind center. 

On Friday, the team traded Durant to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for a fourth-round selection in the 2017 draft and a conditional selection in the 2018 draft. Durant, 34, becomes a free agent in February.

Shortly after the team made the announcement, Durant wrote a note on his website thanking fans and calling it a "very emotional time" for him and his family.

Joseph is familiar with that feeling.

"It's almost like you've been ingrained into a family," Joseph said. "But at the same time, as a player you understand the business aspect of it, because it is a business, and certain things come with that business that can be tough."

As a veteran quarterback who played a total of 179 regular-season games in the league, Joseph knows what it's like to move. He played parts of three seasons with the Riders, and also spent time in Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton. 

Former Roughrider Kerry Joseph says for a quarterback who's developed strong connections to a community, leaving can be 'almost like losing a family member.'
"I don't think you can ever be ready for it, [but] as a player and a businessman you understand it can happen at any time," he said. "So you know in the back of your mind that it can happen, but you can't sit there and ponder and worry about it."

Joseph told CBC Radio's Morning Edition that being a veteran with experience and maturity helps a player understand what needs to be done to make for a positive move, though it's not easy to be a team leader who's traded to another team.

It's particularly tough, he said, when you're a leader who has connections to the community outside the football team. 

"The quarterback position is really tough. It's tougher than any position because of the fact that you are their leader, you're more connected with the community in different aspects and that's a big adjustment," he said.

"I went through that. I was involved in KidSport — huge in Regina — for two years there. And not being attached to that anymore, that really hurt … You lose that time, and it's almost like losing a family member. And that's the real toughest part."

The former quarterback added that he had a hard time leaving cities when he knew there were people, especially young kids, who looked up to him and wore his name on their jerseys.

He said it's pretty difficult breaking things off on the football side of things too, but players can count on finding a new "family" in the locker room when they join another team.

About the Author

Tory Gillis

Journalist

Tory Gillis is a journalist with CBC Saskatchewan. She's a reporter, radio newsreader/editor and associate producer with the Morning Edition.

- with files from CBC's the Morning Edition