MONTREAL – Laurent DuVernay Tardiff is halting his NFL career once again.
The 31-year-old Canadian attacker told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that he will begin a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital next month.
Duvernay-Tardif has been an unrestricted agent for the NFL since March after finishing last season with the New York Jets. He said he is not retiring from football, just taking care of the medical requirements needed to become a doctor. The goalkeeper plans to re-evaluate both his interest in football as well as that of the NFL clubs in September.
“I will prioritize medicine… and we will see in September if there is a seizure,” DuVernay Tardiff said in a phone interview. “After eight years in the NFL, and I don’t want to sound arrogant by saying that, but I think I’ve earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just for football and kind of bet myself a little bit.
“I’m really comfortable taking the risk, and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a show on the table in September if I wanted to. And if I wanted it I’d take it. If the medication is going well and I feel like I have to be there in front of 80,000 people to do the sport I love, Well, I’ll go, but I think I want to be more on my terms.”
Shortly after helping the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl in February 2020, DuVernay Tardiff became the first NFL player to withdraw from the following season, leaving the team to battle the COVID-19 pandemic while working in a long-term care facility in Montreal.
The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Duvernay Tardiff returned to Kansas City last season expecting to fight for his starting spot but was sidelined for a month after breaking his hand at training camp. In November, he waived the no-trade clause, allowing Kansas City to handle the aircraft. He started seven of his eight matches in the Jets’ Right Guard.
DuVernay Tardiff received his MD and MSc in Surgery from McGill University in 2018.