— Montreal Alouettes (@MTLAlouettes) May 22, 2015
Michael Sam will be playing professional football this year, but not in the NFL. The Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes have had Sam's negotiating rights for over a year and they have capitalized on it, signing the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year to a two-year contract.
Sam was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round last year, becoming the first openly gay player to be drafted in the NFL, but was cut at the end of training camp. He had a stint with the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, but was released. After participating on Dancing With The Stars, Sam had a disappointing showing at the NFL's Veterans Combine in March. With Montreal's training camp set to start in June, we'll see how quickly Sam is able to adapt to the Canadian game.
Sam's deficiencies for the NFL game shouldn't hinder him in the CFL, as he was seen as a hybrid, too small to play defensive end and not fast enough to play outside linebacker. At least now, Sam will get the opportunity to show what he can do in game situations.
“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team Owner Robert Wetenhall, General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity,” said Sam. “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.”