Michael Sam will finally get his shot to play professional football. It just won’t be in the NFL.
The Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes announced they have signed the defensive end out of Missouri to a two-year deal, giving Sam his first opportunity at playing professional football.
Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL Draft, was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but the team released him before the season started. He then signed with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but he never saw time in the NFL and was later released.
Sam looked for his next opportunity through the veteran combine, but his unimpressive 4.99 40-yard dash didn’t blow scouts away. Sam, 25, is a former SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” said Alouettes’ general manager, Jim Popp in a statement. “Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team.”
Sam will join familiar names and faces on the Alouettes, namely Chad Johnson, who signed a two-year deal last year. Johnson played in just five of 18 games last season.