Canadian Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is putting his NFL career on hold once again.
Duvernay-Tardif told The Canadian Press on Wednesday he has received four contract offers from NFL clubs — he wouldn’t divulge the teams — but is putting football on the back burner after being accepted into a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital, starting next month.
The veteran offensive lineman has been an unrestricted free agent since March.
He received his doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in surgery from McGill University in 2018, and Duvernay-Tardif said medical graduates usually had four years to start their residency.
Duvernay-Tardif said he’s not retiring from football, but taking care of medical requirements needed to become a physician. He plans to reassess both his football interest as well as that of perspective clubs in September.
It’s not the first time Duvernay-Tardif has decided to leave pro football. Shortly after helping the Kansas City Chiefs secure a Super Bowl victory, the native of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season to battle the COVID-19 pandemic working at a long-term care facility in Montreal.
He also served on the NFL Players’ Association’s COVID-19 task force.
Duvernay-Tardif returned to Kansas City last season expecting to battle for his spot. But he suffered a broken hand during training camp that sidelined him for a month.
The 31-year-old started seven of his eight games at right guard for the Jets (4-13), who finished last in the AFC East.
Duvernay-Tardif was already in medical school when Kansas City took him in the sixth round of the ’14 NFL draft out of McGill. He initially played football during the NFL season, then spent his off-season continuing his medical studies.
Duvernay-Tardif started 57-of-60 career games with Kansas City. He made his first NFL start in 2015 and helped the Chiefs earn a 31-20 Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2, 2020.