With no NFL interest, Michael Sam will play in the CFL

With no NFL interest, Michael Sam will play in the CFL

The Canadian Football League wasn't defensive end Michael Sam's first choice, but it was his best one right now as he tries to establish a professional career.

Sam has signed with the Montreal Alouettes, the team announced on Friday. USA Today's Tom Pelissero said it's a one-year deal with an option for 2016.

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Sam, the former co-SEC defensive player of the year at Missouri, was the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL when the St. Louis Rams took him in the seventh round in 2014. Despite a productive preseason, the Rams cut him before the regular season started. The Dallas Cowboys added Sam to their practice squad, but cut him before the regular season was done. That was Sam's last NFL job.

Maybe a good season in the CFL will generate some interest from NFL teams, if that's his goal.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,”  Alouettes’ general manager Jim Popp said, according to the team's site. “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's arrival will generate more interest than most signings. His story has been a big one in the sports world since he publicly announced he was gay last year. Sam has been a bit of a controversial figure, with questions if him being gay kept him from being drafted higher by NFL teams, or if it's behind him not being able to get an NFL job.

If Sam goes to the CFL and shows the pass-rushing skills he showed at Missouri and flashed during his preseason with the Rams, it'll be hard for NFL teams to keep passing him up.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!