Saturday, May 7, 2022

Ex-Steelers QB Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges makes decision on the future of football

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Just seven months ago, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges migrated north to the CFL after signing a three-year deal with the Ottawa Redblacks after being fired by the Los Angeles Rams. But on Friday, April 22, Hodge’s professional football career ended when the Redblacks announced his retirement via a statement on the team’s official website.

“I want to thank the REDBLACKS for bringing me to Ottawa and giving me this opportunity. I’ve gained a lot of respect for the CFL and its fans – especially RNation! I’m excited for what the future holds but I know the next chapter in my life will be fun,” said Hodges, who played for the Redblacks on several occasions last season but only had one start.

As such, his contributions were limited to 139 yards passing and 38 yards rushing, according to the CFL’s official website, barely enough to trigger the kind of duck mania Pittsburgh visited during the 2019 season when starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason forced Rudolph Hodges in action.

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Hodges continued to play better than anyone expected, especially considering he was undrafted and unsigned from Samford University. (He was only paid $1,000 to join the Steelers after impressing at a rookie minicamp tryout.)

Overall, Hodges won three of six starts while completing 100 of 160 passes for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions, according to the Pro Football Reference, and finished his NFL stint with a 71.4 passer rating. He managed back-to-back wins over two former No. 1 quarterbacks, namely Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray and Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield.

Hodges spent the entire 2020 season on the Pittsburgh practice team before signing a one-year reserve/futures contract with the Rams in early 2021. After being released from Los Angeles in August last year, he had tryouts with the New York Giants and New England Patriots but wasn’t signed, hence his decision to branch out with the Redblacks, where he earned the No. 7 in tribute wore to Roethlisberger.

No word yet on what Devlin Hodges is planning in the future. Never mind that he seems ideal for the USFL, especially considering he’s from Alabama and played his college football in Birmingham. However, he has at least one new venture after launching a duck hunting podcast that premiered in March.

“You can expect a lot of fun things in this podcast. We’ll also bring a lot of knowledge – try to make everyone a better hunter,” Hodges said on episode 1.

In particular, the launch of the Duck Hodges podcast sparked a Twitter feud with Pittsburgh sports personality Mark Madden, who made the highly controversial claim that Duck was “the worst QB in Steelers history.” Madden also summarily dismissed the podcast, calling it “Amateur hour pretend celebrity chatter.”

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