Adrian McPherson is returning to the CFL.
The veteran quarterback has signed with the Calgary Stampeders, the team announced through a news release on Tuesday.
“The Stampeders have been one of the top teams since I first came to the CFL and I’m excited to come to Calgary,” McPherson said in a statement. “I look forward to meeting my new teammates and to working with [head coach John] Hufnagel and [offensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach Dave] Dickenson.”
McPherson, 30, spent five seasons with the Montreal Alouettes (2008-'12), earning Grey Cup rings in '09 and 2010 with the club before being released to pursue other offers.
“I’m very pleased to be able to add a quarterback with Adrian’s experience and skill set,” Hufnagel said in a statement. “As we saw last season, depth at the quarterback position is vital and I believe Adrian provides excellent competition.”
Instead of landing another CFL job, the six-foot-three, 220-pound native of Bradenton, Fla., spent last season with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. McPherson appeared in 13 games, completing 238-of-385 passes (61.8 per cent) for 3,151 yards and 59 touchdowns with five interceptions.
McPherson also added 415 yards rushing on 91 carries with 31 TDs, all team highs. In 2004, McPherson was the AFL's top rookie with the Indiana Firebirds.
In Montreal, McPherson served mostly as the backup behind Anthony Calvillo, completing 145-of-247 passes for 1,505 yards with 10 TDs and six interceptions during his time with the Alouettes.
He also rushed for 1,035 yards on 218 attempts, scoring 20 touchdowns.
On Sept. 11, 2010, McPherson started in place of an injured Calvillo and guided Montreal to a 27-6 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In that game, McPherson completed 21 of 37 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 121 yards.
The addition of McPherson fills a need for Calgary, which lost veteran starter Kevin Glenn to the expansion Ottawa Redblacks last month. Glenn's departure left the Stampeders with former starter Drew Tate and impressive youngster Bo Levi Mitchell under centre.
McPherson played collegiately at Florida State. He appeared in nine games as a true freshman in '01 before starting four contests as a sophomore in '02.
But he was eventually dismissed by Florida State following some legal troubles.
In 2003, he was arrested on charges of stealing a blank cheque and receiving almost $3,500 US after it was cashed. McPherson was also tried on allegations he bet on pro and college games but the trial ended in a hung jury.
McPherson eventually pleaded no-contest to gambling and theft charges and an illegal gambling misdemeanour. He was sentenced to 30 months of probation, 25 hours of community service and 90 days on a county work detail.
Dismissed from Florida State, McPherson tried unsuccessfully to enrol at Tennessee State before signing with Indiana of the AFL.
McPherson was selected in the fifth round, No. 152 overall, by the NFL's New Orleans Saints in '05. In December '06, he launched a $20-million lawsuit against the Tennessee Titans after being run over by a golf cart driven by the club's mascot during an exhibition game.
McPherson was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and missed the entire season before being released by the Saints.