Toronto Argonauts slotback Andre Durie hints at retirement in tweet

Durie strongly hints at CFL retirement

TORONTO — It seems Andre Durie is calling it a career.

The Argonauts veteran slotback all but said he was done playing in a tweet addressed to Toronto fans Wednesday night. Durie became a CFL free agent Tuesday after registering 23 catches for 228 yards and one TD last season.

“Thank you for years of memories,” Durie wrote. “Being able to represent my city and reach my community has been a blessing.

“You have watched me struggle and grow throughout my football career and supported me through it. Thank you for that!!”

Durie went on to thank his teammates “and brothers.”

“I’d go under the knife and resurrect 1000x again (if that was physically possible) for ya cause that’s what we do. Been a blast T.O. #Playmakers.”

The five-foot-10, 195-pound Durie, a Mississauga, Ont., native, didn’t immediately return a message from The Canadian Press seeking confirmation whether he was retiring or simply moving on to another team. However, an Argos official requesting anonymity said Durie didn’t figure in the club’s future plans.

Durie, 35, spent his entire 10-year CFL career with Toronto. He played professionally despite suffering a horrific knee injury while at York University that left doctors wondering if he’d ever walk normally again.

In the second game of the ’05 season, Durie suffered nerve damage in his knee. He missed the remainder of that year and the 2006 campaign. Following a rigorous rehabilitation, Durie impressed Argos officials at an evaluation camp. He appeared in five games with the CFL club in ’07.

Injuries forced Durie to miss more than half of the ’08 season before he returned in ’09, playing in all 18 regular-season contests.

The departure of Durie, one of Toronto’s most popular players, would add to what’s been an off-season to forget for the franchise. Last month, general manager Jim Barker was fired. Days later, head coach Scott Milanovich resigned to become the quarterbacks coach with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. And earlier this week, former Argos receiver Darrell K. Smith died of cancer at the age of 55.

Durie’s best CFL season was 2013 when he 92 catches for 986 yards three TDs. But injuries over the next two seasons would limit Durie to just six games.

He had 26 catches for 277 yards and a TD over that span.

Durie played 122 games with Toronto, recording 322 catches for 3,658 yards with 15 TDs. He helped the Argos win the 100th Grey Cup game in 2012 before over 50,000 spectators at Rogers Centre.

Durie also rushed for 419 yards on 69 carries (6.1-yard average) with two touchdowns while also returning punts and kickoffs during his Argos tenure.

Argos defensive end Ricky Foley, who also played with Durie at York, was quick to react to his teammate’s tweet.

“Retweeting this with a heavy heart2night…Words ain’t enough, My roomate, my teammate, my best friend, my brother. Nobody game more #CFL,” Foley tweeted.

Argos defensive back Matt Black, who’s also a free agent, tweeted: “It’s been one hell of a ride. We will forever be family!”

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press