Former Bronco Atkinson signs with CFL's Tiger-Cats

Former Bronco Atkinson signs with CFL's Tiger-Cats
Former Boise State defensive tackle Mike Atkinson has signed a contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, the team which drafted him in the third round of the 2012 CFL draft.

"It's the best choice right now considering I hurt my knee," Atkinson told KBOI-TV via text message.

Atkinson missed the final four games of his college career after suffering a knee injury against San Diego State. In April, he warmed up with teammates for Boise State's 'Pro Day' but did not run any drills in front of NFL scouts.

That day, he remained optimistic of his chances to sign with an NFL team despite his on-going rehab.

With no NFL teams calling, Atkinson will return to his native Canada to play for Hamilton this year once his knee returns to 100 percent.

The Tiger-Cats drafted Atkinson in the third round of the 2012 CFL draft, following his junior season at Boise State. CFL teams can select native Canadians prior to the end of their college eligibility in United States, but only retain the rights to that player if he plays in the CFL.

Hamilton finished fourth in its league and missed the playoffs last season. The Tiger-Cats allowed more points than any other team in the league, and fired long-time CFL coach George Cortez after the season.

The team has hired former CFL player and Cornell head coach Kent Austin to replace Cortez. The CFL season begins June 27, with two weeks of preseason games beginning June 13.