Another Flutie hopes to catch NFL team's eye

Doug's brother, Darren, was top CFL receiver in '99

November 30, 1999|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Darren Flutie can't remember how many times he's been told he's too small to play in the National Football League.

After a dominating season as the Canadian Football League's top receiver, Flutie probably will receive some offers south of the border, several NFL scouts said.

The 33-year-old Flutie, whose older brother, Doug, is quarterbacking the Buffalo Bills after eight seasons starring in Canada, said he hopes to hear from NFL clubs when they're allowed to begin negotiating with CFL players on Dec. 5. NFL teams can't sign CFL players until Jan. 4.

"It'd be a tremendous opportunity to get to the NFL," Flutie said.

In eight seasons in Canada, Doug Flutie took advantage of his speed and agility on the wider and longer Canadian field to become the league's third all-time leading passer with 41,355 yards.

Darren Flutie, who signed with the British Columbia Lions in 1991 after failed tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and Phoenix Cardinals, has had similar success. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder caught 84 passes this season, second-most in the CFL. Flutie had 1,155 receiving yards and caught seven touchdown passes.

In a 32-21 win over Calgary in the Grey Cup on Sunday, Flutie caught six passes for a game-high 109 yards and two touchdowns.

"I've got good 4.5 speed and I can create space," Flutie said.

"I go over the middle and can take a big hit and I'm consistent. That said, I might be a bit old for a few teams to take a chance on."

In nine seasons with B.C., the Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton, Flutie has caught 749 passes for 11,104 yards and 52 touchdowns.

Cleveland Browns scout Les Miller said he's watched "quite a bit" of Flutie video this season.

"He's a good player and had another great year. He's not too small," said Miller, whose team is averaging 141.4 passing yards a game, worst in the AFC.

Flutie said it won't crush him if he doesn't make it to the NFL next season.

He said playing in Hamilton, a blue-collar, steel city about an hour southwest of Toronto, is a pleasant alternative.

With two Grey Cup rings, it would give him a chance to equal Doug's three championship rings.

"I love Canada," Darren said. "The people, the league have been very good to me. If I don't make it to the NFL, I'll be back here to finish my career and I won't be disappointed at all."

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