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Defensive end Michael Sam decides to walk away from football

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  • By Tyler Dragon NFL.com
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Michael Sam's brief professional football career has already had its fair share of updates.

The defensive end's latest news is that he has decided to step away from the game.

On Friday Sam took to social media to announce his decision to stop playing for the Montreal Alouettes. The former SEC Defensive Player of the Year cited mental health as his reasoning to walk away from the CFL.

"The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health. Because of this I am going to step away from the game at this time," Sam said. "I thank the Alouettes for this opportunity and hope to be back on the field soon. Thank you all for your understanding and support."

Sam became the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team when the St. Louis Rams selected him in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The former Missouri star was later released by St. Louis and picked up by the Dallas Cowboys. Sam participated on Dallas' practice squad but was released from the team in October of last year.

The defensive end played in one game for the Alouettes. He didn't record a tackle in 12 plays in the Alouettes' 26-23 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks, according to the Montreal Gazette.

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