Former Mizzou player Michael Sam joins Canadian Football League

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Michael Sam. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL, finally will get to play football again.

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League announced Friday that they have signed the 25-year-old defensive end to a two-year deal.

“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,” Sam said.

“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 made history in last year’s NFL draft when the St. Louis Rams selected him in the seventh round as the 249th overall pick. The Rams cut Sam, who was fighting for a final roster spot, on August 30.

While Sam never played in a regular-season NFL game, he did spend part of the 2014 season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He was cut in October.

In his senior year at the University of Missouri, Sam was named Southeastern Conference co-defensive player of the year. He led the SEC with 11.5 total sacks and 21 tackles for loss.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said. “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 most recently was in the spotlight on “Dancing With the Stars.” He didn’t win the contest, but he appeared at the finale Tuesday.

By Jill Martin, CNN

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