Taking a kick at NFL career

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Sandro DeAngelis could be kicking off the next chapter of his football career a little further south.

The Stampeders kicker, who nailed five field goals in Sunday's Grey Cup game, is entering his option year and is hoping to latch on with an NFL squad after four straight all-star seasons in Calgary.

"As an athlete, you always have that voice in your head always telling you 'What's next? What's the next challenge?' " DeAngelis said yesterday as the Red & White returned from Montreal with the championship trophy in tow.

"That voice is talking to me right now. It's something I gotta try and we'll see what happens."

If the NFL scouts have indeed been watching, DeAngelis put on a quite a show this season.

Nicknamed Sandro DeAutomatic, the 27-year-old kicker from Niagara Falls, Ont., was 50-of-58 on field-goal attempts for a league-leading 86.2% efficiency rate and scored 217 points, three shy of the Stamps' franchise record held by Mark McLoughlin.

DeAngelis was the West Division nominee for the CFL's Most Outstanding special teams player award, but he was beat out by Toronto Argonauts return dynamo Dominique Dorsey.

After letting his boot do the talking -- again -- in Sunday's 22-14 triumph over the Alouettes, DeAngelis will let his agent take it from here.

"My job is to kick balls, his job is to negotiate contracts, and that's why they get paid the big bucks, too" DeAngelis said.

"I'm just gonna savour all of this right now. I'm really going to enjoy everything that we accomplished and whatever happens with my crazy career and my crazy future remains to be seen.

"Either way, (Sunday) was the greatest night of my life and I'm gonna remember it forever."

Stampeders long-snapper Randy Chevrier, who kicked some tires south of the border last off-season, figures DeAngelis is deserving of an NFL look.

"As a teammate, you want to see a guy succeed and achieve his dreams, whatever they are," Chevrier said. "He's won a Grey Cup and he's done some great things in this league, and if he gets that opportunity, then I support him 100%, because it's such a short career.

"If he gets a chance to compete for a Super Bowl ... there's no other guy that deserves it more than Sandro."

DeAngelis won't be the only Stampeders star gauging NFL interest in the off-season. Cornerback Brandon Browner also intends to shop himself to four-down football clubs.

Browner signed as an undrafted free agent with the NFL's Denver Broncos in 2005, but a forearm injury spoiled his chances of sticking in the Mile High City. The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys both expressed an interest in Browner's services after his first season with the Stamps, he said.

After a second straight all-star nod, the 24-year-old hopes somebody will come calling in the next few weeks.

"If I get the opportunities, I'm sure enough going to take advantage of," Browner said.

"I can make a living here in the CFL, but it was always a dream of mine to be an NFL star."

Browner proved his toughness Sunday, playing through an ankle sprain he suffered in the West Division final.

He was wearing a protective boot on his right foot yesterday and will undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury.


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