Jets Veteran Puts ‘Career on Hold’, Leaves Door Open for Return

New York Jets, huddle

Getty The New York Jets offense huddling up before a snap during an NFL contest.

The New York Jets made a sneaky trade at the deadline last year that flew under the radar.

Gang Green acquired offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in a rare player-for-player swap in exchange for tight end Daniel Brown. The trade with the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t win headlines, but it was a key piece of their rebuilt offensive line in 2021.

This offseason LDT reached free agency and has yet to sign with another NFL franchise and we learned why this week.

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A Different Career Choice

VideoVideo related to jets veteran puts ‘career on hold’, leaves door open for return2022-06-09T16:53:39-04:00

Duvernay-Tardif will be putting his NFL career “on hold”, per the Associated Press.

The veteran offensive lineman is set to do some work in a residency program at a Montreal hospital next month.

This time away is due to him taking care of some medical prerequisites so he can become a physician.

LDT originally entered the NFL back in 2014 when he was selected in both the NFL and CFL drafts respectively. Ultimately the Canadian native chose to pursue his professional football interests in the NFL.

Duvernay-Tardif was the No. 200 overall pick in the sixth round by the Chiefs. He would essentially redshirt his rookie campaign before carving out a nice five-year career in Kansas City:

  • 60 games played
  • Started in 57 games
  • Super Bowl championship

LDT is the fourth player in NFL history to graduate from medical school and has balanced that life with his football career.

This isn’t a goodbye, but it is a see you later. LDT won’t be retiring from the game of football but he will be putting that venture off for a while.

The Door Remains Open

VideoVideo related to jets veteran puts ‘career on hold’, leaves door open for return2022-06-09T16:53:39-04:00

While the Jets have added some nice depth to the interior with the waiver wire acquisition of Nate Herbig, you can never have enough.

LDT very much left the door open for a return:

“I’m going to prioritize medicine … and we’ll see in September if there’s a fit,” Duvernay-Tardif said in a telephone interview via the Associated Press. “After eight years in the NFL, and I don’t want to sound pretentious by saying this, but I think I’ve earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just for football and kind of bet on myself a little bit. I’m really comfortable with the risk, and I’m pretty confident there’s going to be an offer on the table in September if I want it. And if I want it I’ll take it. If medicine is going well and I feel like I’ve got to be out there in front of 80,000 people to play the sport I love, well, I’ll go, but I think I want it to be more on my terms.”

Duvernay-Tardif has been adamant this offseason during free agency that he would love to return to the Jets. With him out of commission until September, a very likely return would make sense with a team he is intimately familiar with.

After coming over via trade, LDT played in eight games and started in seven of those contests after taking over for Greg Van Roten.

One of the reasons Duvernay-Tardif chose to waive his rare no-trade clause for the Jets was because of the opportunity to play. He started off as a bench guy before ultimately wrestling away the starting job.

That proposition is a lot more difficult this year with what general manager Joe Douglas called “one of, if not the best guard combinations in football” with Laken Tomlinson and Alijah Vera-Tucker.

However, there is unlikely going to be a starting job waiting for LDT if he returns to football in September for any NFL team. At that point, most depth charts in the NFL will be pretty locked in.

Although the door will remain open for LDT to join the Jets, even in a reserve role. Gang Green would love the depth and the veteran offensive lineman seemed to gel really well with the locker room.

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