Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player drafted into the NFL, has found a new place to play football -- Canada. The defensive end has signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, CBS reported Friday.


The Alouettes confirmed the news soon after the CBS report. “With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” said Alouettes general manager Jim Popp in a statement. “Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person who brings dignity, character and heart to our team.”

Sam was drafted by the NFL's St. Louis Rams in the seventh round in 2014 but was eventually cut by the team. The 25-year-old then signed on with the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad but was released in October 2014. The Missouri product, a former SEC Defensive Player of the Year, never appeared in a regular-season NFL game. 

 “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 said in a statement. The Alouettes went 9-9 last season before losing in the Eastern division finals. The CFL preseason is scheduled to begin in early June.