Former NFL player Michael Sam is heading back to the football field.
Reports confirm that Sam, a former Missouri Tiger, has signed on to play in the Canadian Football League. As a defensive end, Michael Sam, 25, will play with the Montreal Alouettes.
— Montreal Alouettes (@MTLAlouettes) May 22, 2015
In an official statement issued by the team, Michael expressed his excitement over getting back to work in a sport that he loves to play.
“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes. I cannot wait to put on the pads, get back on the field and work hard each and every day with my teammates to bring a Grey Cup to the great fans here in Montreal.”
Sam also shared the news on his official Twitter page.
Jeffrey Orridge, the commissioner of the CFL, also opened up about the former NFL player joining the CFL family with a statement of his own.
“Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam. Our players come to us from different places, different walks of life and ultimately they take different paths to get to our fields. Today is another indication of how open and progressive the CFL is — consistent with our rich and storied history of great football tradition. Welcome to Montreal, Michael!”
By playing in the Canadian Football League, Michael Sam will essentially make history twice. Last year, he became the first openly gay football player in the NFL. Now that he has joined the Montreal Alouettes, Michael is the first openly gay football player in the CFL as well.
Michael Sam signed a two-year deal with the Alouettes. According to the team’s website, Sam is expected to discuss his new journey with the CFL during a press conference on Tuesday, May 26 at the Montreal Airport Marriott. On Wednesday, he will stand alongside the other first-year CFL players as he is officially welcomed into the Alouettes organization.
The St. Louis Rams were the first professional football team to take Michael Sam when they selected him in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft. On August 30 of the same year, however, Sam was released during the team’s final round of roster cuts.
— St. Louis (@SunTimesSTL) February 11, 2015
In September 2014, he became part of the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but was waived in favor of linebacker Troy Davis the following month.
— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) March 27, 2015
Playing for the Montreal Alouettes will allow Michael Sam to have another shot of proving himself as a professional football player with a multi-year deal as an added bonus.
[Image Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images]