Michael Sam signs deal with CFL's Montreal Alouettes


Michael Sam will continue his career in professional football, but it won't be in the NFL.

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League announced Friday that they have signed Sam to a two-year deal. Sam spent parts of last season with the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys, but did not play a regular-season snap for either team.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Sam signed a one-year deal with a team option year, according to Sam's agent, Joe Barkett. Sam became the first openly gay player in NFL history when he was selected by St. Louis in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

"With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today," said Alouettes' general manager Jim Popp. "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."

Popp was asked if he took Sam's sexuality into consideration.

"Yes, he's the first openly gay CFL player. But he's no different than any player we've ever recruiter. We recruited him strictly off his skill set, which is that he's an outstanding pass-rusher. He doesn't fit into everyone's system in the NFL, but he showed what he can do in the preseason. He'll get to do what he does best with us. Now, he's gotta make our team, he's got to understand the nuances of our league and all that. But we got him strictly off his skill set," Popp informed Rapoport.

Sam played in four preseason games with the Rams, totalling three sacks and 11 tackles before being cut by the team. He joined the Cowboys' practice squad on Sept. 3 and was waived six weeks later.

"He's a tweaner (in the NFL), but he's a prefect type of what we use as rush end in the CFL -- stand up on the edge, rush the passer. That's what he'll be doing. He has a similar body type for what the better pass-rushers in the CFL have. Whereas in the NFL, those guys are usually 6-5, 280. What he'll do is what he does best -- rush the passer. Line up and crank it every single play. ... What does that translate to? I hope we can get outstanding player that maybe an NFL will pay him a lot and take him. Like Cam Wake," Popp told Rapoport.

Sam took part in the NFL's inaugural Veteran Combine in March, but failed to attract a team. He now takes the well-traveled path north in the effort to keep his NFL dream alive.

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