TORONTO â€” Andre Durie isn’t retiring.
The veteran slotback said Thursday he’s simply no longer playing for the Argonauts. On Wednesday night, the free-agent agent receiver issued a tweet thanking Toronto fans for their support over his 10-year career with the CFL club.
“Not ‘retiring’ officially just not playing for the Argos,” Durie said in a message to The Canadian Press.
Durie added his roots in Toronto would make it difficult for him to continue his CFL career with another team.
The five-foot-10, 195-pound Durie, a Mississauga, Ont., native, had 322 catches for 3,658 yards with 15 TDs in 122 career games with Toronto. 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.
But more impressive was Durie embarking on a pro career after 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.
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.
Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press