Career finale up north?

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

At least three Canadian Football League teams -- including the Argos -- have inquired about Doug Flutie's availability, but he is leaning to playing in the U.S. or possibly retiring.

In the wake of yesterday's news that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have had exploratory talks to see if the 42-year-old Flutie would be interested in playing in Steeltown, sources told the Toronto Sun yesterday that that the Argos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders have also placed calls.

"We did inquire, but nothing's happening," Argos co-owner David Cynamon said yesterday. "We haven't been asked (by the football operations people) to pursue it as owners."

Flutie starred for the Argos in 1996-97, leading the team to back-to-back Grey Cup wins and receiving the award both seasons as the Most Outstanding Player in the league. Flutie left the CFL, which he joined in 1990, to return to the NFL, signing with Buffalo. He played on and off for the Bills for three seasons before signing with the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers released him last week in advance of a roster bonus because they wanted to go with their younger quarterbacks.

Two sources said some NFL teams have expressed an interest in Flutie, who is also considering retiring because of U.S. broadcast opportunities.

"This is the first year I've ever heard him talk about retiring," his brother, Darren, said. "He's constantly having to prove himself. I think he's just a little tired of the battle."

Flutie backed up Drew Brees the past two seasons, but started the final game of the 2004 regular season when the Chargers rested many of their starters. He played solidly in a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He could still play," Darren Flutie said. "He's flying around like he's 22 again. I don't know how he does it, but he can still do it."

Darren said ideally his brother would like to join the New England Patriots, so he could play close to his Boston-area home.

One rumour floating around is that Doug would consider coming back to play in Canada if he could be reunited with Darren. They played for one year with the B.C. Lions.

Darren ended his CFL career with the Tiger-Cats after the 2002 season, placing first overall in league history with 972 career receptions. He has maintained a connection with the CFL as an analyst with the CBC, in between his full-time job as a sales rep for a corporation specializing in financial printers and communications.

"I just can't leave this job and I kind of like the CBC thing. I would never say never because ... if he wanted to do it, who knows?" Darren Flutie said. "But it's so slim. Doug said, 'The only way I'd do it is if you went with me, otherwise it would be pointless.'"


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