Free agent from CFL could give NFL teams 'the equivalent of a high draft pick'
In Armstead's three seasons as a Trojan, he started in 17 games, recording 59 tackles, 4 sacks, and 10.5 tackles for a loss. His best season, expectedly, came during his final year with USC as a junior, when he recorded 3 sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and 2 passes defended.
Still with a strong desire to play football, and confidence that he could prove NFL team executives wrong, Armstead joined the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League after going undrafted last April. Recording six sacks for the Argonauts and leading them to a victory in the Grey Cup (the CFL's equivalent of the Super Bowl), Armstead has launched himself back on to the radars of NFL teams.
Released by the Argonauts earlier this month (reportedly so he could pursue an NFL career), some teams have been quick to reach out to the 6-foot-5, 300 pound lineman. The Patriots, Eagles, and Colts all visited with Armstead last week, and more teams are expected to talk to him before he makes a decision on where to sign.
Armstead can sign with any team that offers him a contract, as once a player enters one NFL Draft (which Armstead did in 2012), he can not enter any future drafts.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has stated that Armstead will provide the value of "a high draft pick months before the April draft." He'll be a low-risk acquisition, as teams won't need to spend a draft pick on the draft-ineligible defender, and a contract would likely be comprised of a good deal of incentives.
Other players recently signed from Canadian teams include the Dolphins' Cameron Wake, and Colts' rookie Jerrell Freeman. Wake registered 15 sacks this year (43 in his four NFL seasons), while Freeman racked up 145 tackles with two sacks and an interception during his rookie campaign.
Whoever manages to sign Armstead could have a true steal on their hands. Armstead is considered to have the potential of becoming a legitimate impact defender at the NFL level.