‘The Dirty Bird’ took the long distance flight to the CFL.
At the age of 36 and seven years after his last NFL game, Whitby native and former Atlanta Falcons tight end O.J. Santiago is taking a run at the CFL.
Santiago, who was drafted out of Kent State by the Falcons where he made famous the Dirty Bird, signed with the Montreal Alouettes last week for his first crack at football in his native country.
“It will be nice to give O.J. a chance to continue playing football. He may be able to add a new dimension to our offence,” Alouettes GM Jim Popp said the day of the signing.
“After working him out a few weeks ago, we felt like he was in great shape and he warranted this opportunity.”
Santiago, 6-foot-7, 265- pounds, has not been to a camp or with a team since the 2007 season when the Raiders brought him back and subsequently cut him before the season began.
“I’m really excited to come home and to have a chance to work with Coach Trestman again,” Santiago said at his signing.
“I know Montreal is the toast of the league and I want to be a part of it. It’s hard to defend a title and I want to do whatever I can to help the Alouettes retain it.”
Santiago had NFL stops in Atlanta, Cleveland and the Oakland Raiders amassing 68 games over those three cities.