Canadian Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is a New York Jet.
The Kansas City Chiefs dealt the veteran offensive guard to New York on Tuesday before 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.
“NYC here we come! #Jets,” Duvernay-Tardif tweeted.
But he also paid tribute to the Chiefs.
“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 6-foot-5, 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 as rookie Trey Smith started at right guard.
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.
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.