ST. LOUIS (CBS St. Louis/AP) — Michael Sam is taking his football career to Canada.

The first openly gay football player drafted by an NFL team has signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

“I am very excited and proud to join the Montreal Alouettes and want to thank team Owner Robert Wetenhall, General Manager Jim Popp and Head Coach Tom Higgins for this opportunity,” Sam said in a statement. “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.”

Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp said that Sam brings heart and character to the team.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” Popp said. “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 was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was cut before the season started and then signed by the Dallas Cowboys and placed on the practice squad. He was released several weeks after that.

Sam recently participated in the NFL’s veterans combine, still hoping to latch onto a team for the 2015 season. He did tell reporters following the combine that he was open to playing in the CFL.

Sam was on the latest season of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”


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