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New England Patriots Sign Armond Armstead from CFL

January 30th, 2013 at 6:00 AM
By Spencer Frenchman

Did Bill Belichick just do it again?  Tom Brady, drafted in the sixth round, Alfonzo Dennard in the seventh, and Armond Armstead, signed from the Canadian Football League (CFL).

As a young USC Trojan, Armstead's NFL future was bright.  The hybrid defensive end/tackle recorded 59 tackles over 3 college seasons and his draft stock soared.  But that was before the incident.  The horrific, uncontrollable antithesis to the perfect season.  Prior to the start of his senior season, he suffered a heart attack forcing him to miss his entire senior year.  Despite medical clearance, NFL teams questioned his ability to stay on the field and be a consistent contributor.

The projected first round pick slipped through the cracks and went completely undrafted in 2012.  Opting to enter the CFL instead of attempting to make an NFL roster, Armstead joined the Toronto Argonauts and brought to a city mired in a decade of horrific professional sports franchise's to experience a resurgence of athletic dominion.  

To Armond the CFL was not a curse or a knock on his ability, but an opportunity to showcase his talent and prove that his health would not stand in the way of his being a solid contributor to an NFL squad.  He made the most of his opportunity leading the Argonauts with six sacks and earning recognition as an all-star en route to leading the Argonauts to their record 10th Grey Cup championship. 

Finally, after years of turmoil and doubt from everyone except Armstead himself, on Jan. 22, 2013 Armond Armstead's NFL dream became a reality when he signed a contract with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots have lacked an interior defensive lineman who can consistently get after the quarterback.  The 6-5, 295 pound Armstead could easily slide into this role on the 2013 version of the Patriots.  He has a lot of upside and could be yet another steal for Bill Belichick.

"I don't think it's very often where an NFL team can get a first round pick without using a first round pick ," Argonauts general manager Jim Barker said.  "When he came up, about the second or third day of training camp, I told somebody on our coaching staff 'this guy is going to be the highest paid guy out of Canada Ever.'"

Armstead has sued USC, accusing team doctors of inducing the heart attack by giving him the painkiller Toradol.

Tags: armond, armstead, Bill Belichick, Football, New England, New England Patriots, NFL, toronto argonauts

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