Chamblin relieved to have Durant locked-up | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
Chamblin Speaks on Durant's Extension
Derek Mortensen/


REGINA -- Corey Chamblin knows who his starting quarterback will be for the next little while.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders signed veteran Darian Durant to a multi-year extension Wednesday after leading the club to just its fourth Grey Cup title last year.

Knowing he has the 31-year-old Durant for the long-term -- reportedly through the 2016 season -- is a big relief for Chamblin, named the CFL's coach of the year following Saskatchewan's Grey Cup championship.

"In order to win championships you need to have a quarterback and to win multiple championships you have to have a quarterback who believes in the head coach and I think that's what we have," Chamblin said during a news conference announcing Durant's extension. "It's huge to have that security.

"That's the biggest security blanket knowing who's going to be under centre for the next few years."

The five-foot-11, 214-pound Durant, a native of Florence, S.C., had one year left on his previous deal. He's entering his ninth CFL season, all with Saskatchewan.

More on Durant's Contract Extension

» Details: Durant, Riders pen contract extension
» Video: Durant Speaks on Extension
» Video: Chamblin on Durant's Extension
» Video: Taman on Durant's Extension
» Video: Recapping Durant's 2013 Season
» Darian Durant's 2013 Numbers

"A lot of guys don't get the opportunity to stay with one franchise their whole career," Durant said. "It was basically a no-brainer for me to stay a part of this organization.

"It's the best in the league."

And there's certainly continuity at the top as this off-season the Riders have re-signed Durant, Chamblin and general manager Brendan Taman to new extensions. Taman also added the title of vice-president of football operations to his job description

Taman called Durant's deal "win-win" in that the player receives a fair-market contract that the Riders can afford while the team maintains the nucleus of its roster.

"It wasn't about taking as much money as he can get, it was about keeping our team together and that tells you all about Darian," Taman said. "There was a market that was out there that was laid out by other quarterbacks that had signed.

"We worked through it and both parties are happy. I think the key in all this is Darian Durant should be recognized as an elite quarterback in this league, which we are prepared to do from our end and were able to get to an agreement with him on a multi-year extension."

Exact contract and financial details weren't divulged but Durant said his new deal doesn't make him the CFL's highest-paid player in 2014.

While Durant's deal appears to offer the Riders salary-cap savings in 2014, the burning question remains what the quarterback's average salary might be over the term of the contract.

But Chamblin believes Durant can be even better moving forward.

"Brendan mentioned him being an elite quarterback, I think Darian has been a very good quarterback," Chamblin said. "I'm excited to see him become a great quarterback and one that we can talk about for years."

It's not the first time Durant has made a commitment to Saskatchewan. In January 2009 he re-signed with the Riders rather than test the free-agent waters.

Durant enjoyed a solid 2013 campaign, passing for 4,154 yards and a league-high 31 TD passes with 12 interceptions. He threw for 550 yards and five TDs with no interceptions in leading Saskatchewan to victory in the West semifinal and final.

Fan Poll
Does winning the Grey Cup put Darian Durant in the 'elite quarterback' category?
1) Yes
2) No

And then Durant threw for 245 yards and three TDs against Hamilton in the Grey Cup game at Mosaic Stadium, leading Saskatchewan to a 45-23 victory.

Durant has completed 1,745 of 2,842 passes (61.4 per cent) for 22,711 yards and 125 touchdowns against 87 interceptions over his career. He's also a two-time Grey Cup champion, having earned his first championship ring in '07 as a backup with the Riders.

But Durant's goal is to become the first starting quarterback in Riders history to lead the club to two Grey Cup titles.

"If you look at the history of this organization the quarterbacks that have won Grey Cups only have one," he said. "In order for me to separate myself ... you have to get that second ring and get multiple Grey Cups.

"That's definitely a motivating factor."

However, the Riders will definitely sport a different look in 2014. Among the players to leave this off-season are running back Kory Sheets (Oakland, NFL), slotback Weston Dressler (Kansas City, NFL), backup quarterback Drew Willy (Winnipeg, CFL) and defensive tackle Keith Shologan (Ottawa, CFL).

"Any time you win there's going to be change, whether it's in the coaching staff, the front office or guys looking for raises on other teams," Durant said. "I've been in this league long enough and played football long enough to know that change is going to come.

"I love Dress, I love Sheets, I love those guys to death but the challenge is turning another guy into one of those stars. I look forward to that."

Fan Comments
Orange & Black
Its okay to prepared to wake up when the season begins !!!
April 25, 2014 - 4:54am
GC Bound
Durant is a Premier QB in the CFL and is stilling improving. Saskatchewan appears to be the quietest team this pre-season.
Watch carefully, once the season begins. Taman and scouting are no beginners.
GO Riders Go!
April 21, 2014 - 11:48am
I think the Jolly Green Giants core players (Both on defense and offense)are as good as any ones...After some time to jell...By Oct.I would expect them to be a legit contender and have a shot at defending their title....
April 18, 2014 - 7:54pm
Dressler, Stamps, and Richardson are great receivers. Duron Carter may be the next. Green is in that company. Durant won't be finding one of those soon.
April 18, 2014 - 5:06pm
als rule
of course he re-signed with the green BUT how successful will they be in replacing dressler, sheets, willy, shologan etc.?!!
April 18, 2014 - 11:07am
We hear that stuff every year. Every year big name players leave, every year another one steps up to the plate. Fantuz left, we survived, DJ Flick was injured, we survived, Joseph left, we survived, Dominguez retired we survived, etc, etc. In fact the worse year that we had in recent years was when we kept virtually every player from the preceeding year.
April 18, 2014 - 9:33pm
There is an abundance of football players out there, if you remember last season in the NFL, they started out with over 2,800 players in camp and when training camp was done, they reduced to slightly over 1,600.

The question these days is how good is your scouting system?
April 18, 2014 - 10:27pm
als rule
@D:/@RD44: your comments are correct BUT for 1 thing!! they'll be able to find/replace a RB, SB, DT, b/up QB etc BUT as good as or better?!! it may take a couple of TCs to completely fill all the vacant positions with players that make one forget the players that left!!
April 19, 2014 - 10:45am