Why the NY Jets probably haven't re-signed Laurent Duvernay-Tardif yet

NY Jets, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
NY Jets, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets opted to re-sign a number of their own internal free agents this offseason, but one notable name who remains on the open market is veteran offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

And there's apparently a very good reason for that.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that Duvernay-Tardif was again putting his career on hold as he "will begin a residency program at a Montreal-area hospital next month."

Duvernay-Tardif notably opted out of the 2020 NFL season to focus on combatting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while working at a Montreal long-term care facility. Now, he's set to return to his home country to continue his medical career.

The veteran lineman indicated that he's not retiring and could revisit the NFL come September. But for now, he'll be focusing on a more important issue.

"I’m going to prioritize medicine ... and we’ll see in September if there’s a fit. After eight years in the NFL, and I don’t want to sound pretentious by saying this, but I think I’ve earned the right to do what’s best for me and not just for football and kind of bet on myself a little bit."

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

The NY Jets would certainly welcome Laurent Duvernay-Tardif back

Duvernay-Tardif spent five years as the Kansas City Chiefs' starting right guard with his final appearance for the organization coming in the team's Super Bowl LIV victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

He sat out all of 2020 before losing his starting job to rookie Trey Smith the following season. The Jets traded for Duvernay-Tardif at the deadline in 2021, and it wouldn't be long before he took over the starting right guard job.

The 31-year-old took over for the struggling Greg Van Roten and started seven games down the stretch, serving as an upgrade over his veteran teammate.

The Jets released Van Roten last month shortly after claiming former Philadelphia Eagles guard Nate Herbig off waivers. Even with Herbig on the roster, the Jets could always use additional offensive line depth.

Duvernay-Tardif expressed a desire to return to New York earlier in the offseason, but even at the time, it seemed clear that his priorities weren't on the gridiron for the moment.

7 forgotten former NY Jets draft picks still playing in the NFL. dark. Next

Don't be surprised if the Jets and Duvernay-Tardif eventually reunite this fall, but for now, his focus is understandably elsewhere.