It was just seven months ago that former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges migrated north to the CFL, having signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Redblacks after getting released by the Los Angeles Rams. But on Friday April 22, Hodges’ professional football career came to an end, when the Redblacks announced his retirement via a statement on the team’s official website.
“I’d like to thank the REDBLACKS for bringing me to Ottawa and giving me this opportunity. I have gained a lot of respect for the CFL and its fans — particularly RNation! I’m excited to see what the future holds but I know that the next chapter in my life is going to be fun,” related Hodges, who made multiple appearances with the Redblacks last season, but just one start.
As such his contributions were limited to 139 yards passing and 38 yards rushing, per the CFL’s official website, hardly enough to spark the kind of Duck Mania that visited Pittsburgh during the 2019 season, when injuries to starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph forced Hodges into action.
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Devlin Hodges’ Unlikely NFL Journey
Hodges went on to play better than anyone had a right to expect, especially when one considers that he went undrafted and unsigned out of Samford University. (He received just $1,000 to join the Steelers after he impressed at a rookie minicamp tryout.)
All told, Hodges won three of six starts while completing 100 of 160 passes for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions, as per Pro Football Reference, finishing his NFL sojourn with a 71.4 passer rating. He did manage back-to-back wins over a pair of former No. 1 overall quarterbacks, namely Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns.
Hodges went on to spend the entire 2020 season on Pittsburgh’s practice squad before inking a one-year Reserve/Futures contract with the Rams in early 2021. After getting waived by Los Angeles in August of last year, he had tryouts with the New York Giants and New England Patriots but went unsigned, hence his decision to catch on with the Redblacks, where he wore No. 7 as a tribute to Roethlisberger.
Hodges Recently Launched a Duck Hunting Podcast
No word yet on what Devlin Hodges plans to do going forward. Never mind that he would seem to be an ideal fit for the USFL, especially when one considers that he’s an Alabama native and played his college football in Birmingham. He has at least one new venture, however, having launched a duck hunting podcast, which premiered in March.
“You can expect a lot of fun things on this podcast. We’re going to bring a lot of knowledge as well — try to make everyone a better hunter,” said Hodges during episode 1.
Notably, the launch of The Duck Hodges Podcast sparked a Twitter feud with Pittsburgh sports personality Mark Madden, who made the highly debatable assertion that Duck is “the worst QB in Steelers history.” Madden also dismissed the podcast out of hand, calling it “amateur-hour pretend celebrity drivel.”
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