Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team, has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
Sam, who recently performed on the ABC reality program "Dancing With the Stars," is expected to take part in training camp with the Alouettes in preparation for the 2015 season, which begins on June 25.
"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 via the team. "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 has been out of professional football since October when the Dallas Cowboys cut him from their practice squad. A former All-American defensive end at Missouri, Sam was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Sam will be formally introduced as a member of the Alouettes during a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Montreal.
CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge lauded Sam's signing with the Alouettes.
“Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes on the signing of Michael Sam,” Orridge said in a statement. “Our players come to us from different places, different walks of life and ultimately they take different paths to get to our fields.
"Today is another indication of how open and progressive the CFL is — consistent with our rich and storied history of great football tradition.”
In April, Popp expressed interest in signing Sam, who failed to get signed by an NFL team after participating in the Veterans Combine in March.
“The CFL is cut out perfectly for his style,” Popp said last month. “It would give him the opportunity to do what he does best."