Michael Sam signs to play in the Canadian Football League

Defensive end Michael Sam runs through a drill during the NFL’s veterans combine on March 22, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. After struggling to lock down a job in the NFL last season, Sam has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes, of the Canadian Football League. Sam became the NFL’s first openly gay player last year when he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams. (Rick Scuteri/AP file)

MONTREAL (MEDIA GENERAL) – The Montreal Alouettes, of the Canadian Football League, announced they have signed defensive end Michael Sam to a two-year contract.

Sam first gained headlines last spring when he announced he is gay weeks before the 2014 NFL draft. He was taken in the seventh round (249th overall) by the St. Louis Rams, making him the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Sam recorded 11 tackles and three sacks in four preseason games with the Rams. He was cut before the start of the regular season and later was signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.

In four seasons at the University of Missouri, Sam recorded 123 tackles, 21 sacks and two interceptions, and was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference his senior year.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said in a statement Friday. “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.”

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