Chiefs trade Canadian OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to Jets

Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. (Gregory Payan/AP)

LORHAM PARK, NEW JERSEY — Canadian Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a New York Jet.

The Kansas City Chiefs dealt the veteran offensive guard to New York on Tuesday prior to the 4 p.m. ET NFL trade deadline for backup tight end Daniel Brown. Both players are slated to become free agents at season’s end.

"Words cannot express how grateful I am to the Kansas City Chiefs organization," Duvernay-Tardif said in a statement. "Saying goodbye to K.C. is not an easy decision.

"When I opted out last year, I promised myself to do everything in my power to come back on the field. Joining the Jets gives me the best opportunity to play."

The six-foot-five, 321-pound Duvernay-Tardif, of Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Que., started in Kansas City’s 31-20 Super Bowl win over San Francisco on Feb. 2, 2020. But he became the first NFL player to opt-out of the 2020 season, choosing to battle the COVID-19 pandemic working at a long-term care facility in Montreal ahead of playing football.

Duvernay-Tardif rejoined the Chiefs at training camp this summer but suffered a hand injury. He was active for the first time this season Monday night in Kansas City’s 20-17 win over the New York Giants but didn’t see any game action.

Duvernay-Tardif, 30, has started 57-of-60 career NFL games. He’s expected to push Greg Roten, a former CFL player and the Jets’ current right guard, for playing time.

"It’s an opportunity to add a Super Bowl champion to the room," New York GM Joe Douglas told reporters. "And you guys know how I feel about the offensive line and defensive line.

"If there’s an opportunity to improve any room, we’re going to do it. And LDT brings that championship pedigree."

The Jets (2-5) are third in the AFC East under first-year head coach Robert Saleh.

Duvernay-Tardif has been recognized often for his decision to put his football career on hold. He was a co-recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s top athlete; named ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian of the Year as well as one of Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportspersons of the year.

Kansas City selected Duvernay-Tardif in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL draft out of McGill University. He made his first-ever start for the Chiefs on Sept. 13, 2015, versus the Houston Texans, starting 13-of-16 games he appeared in that year.

"Thanks to Coach Reid who believed in me and supported me throughout my whole career to pursue both medical school and pro football, my two passions," Duvernay-Tardif wrote. "Winning the Super Bowl in 2020 with this team will forever be one of my proudest moments."

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