Stamps sign Ahmad Carroll

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Ahmad Carroll has had plenty of opportunities to shine on the football field.

Perhaps his most impactful moments, though, came during his one-year suspension from the NFL, the result of an arrest on felony drug and gun charges.

"I got in trouble. It was a big blow. I had to sit out a year," Carroll said. "It just gave me an opportunity to tell myself, 'Don't make dumb mistakes and just be appreciative of the opportunity to be a professional athlete.'

"When you're sitting out for a year, you miss that."

Carroll, 27, signed with the Calgary Stampeders Tuesday, giving him another chance to earn his paycheques on turf.

The defensive back/returner seemed destined for stardom after a stellar college career at the University of Arkansas.

In fact, the Green Bay Packers used their first-round pick in 2004 to select Carroll, who spent two-and-a-half seasons with the team before being released for on-field reasons.

He was hoping to resurrect his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars but was arrested in May 2007 after a disturbance at a restaurant in Atlanta. Police found a handgun tucked into his pants and 11 pills -- believed to be ecstacy -- in his vehicle.

Carroll was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm, concealing a weapon without a permit and carrying a pistol without a license. He was released by the Jaguars.

Carroll, whose resume also includes stints with the New York Jets and Arena Football League's Orlando Predators, isn't the first CFL recruit with a checkered past.

And he's shown signs he wants to be a role model, launching the Humble Grind Foundation in his home state of Georgia in an effort to supply youngsters with tools for future success.

In the meantime, he's also studied three-down football.

After Tuesday's practice at McMahon Stadium, he told reporters he's watched CFL games, proved his knowledge of the Stamps' defensive stats and even pronounced Saskatchewan properly.

The United League's Hartford Colonials own his rights, but he figured this was a better opportunity.

"There's a great fan base, and there's a lot of guys with a lot of talent," said Carroll, who had 117 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 57 NFL outings. "The Grey Cup is one of the biggest things there is in professional sports. I've never had an opportunity to win a championship, and this will probably be the closest I ever get to one."

EXTRA POINTS

Stamps CB Brandon Browner missed Tuesday's practice to be with his girlfriend, who is due to give birth ... DE Charleston Hughes and DL Justin Phillips were both spectators. Asked about their availability for Friday, head coach John Hufnagel said it's "not looking good right now."


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