VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Later this year, Springfield's hometown football star will be strapping his pads back on again, as prepares for a new chapter in his professional career.

The BC Lions Football Club of the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced earlier today that it has signed local defensive back Anthony Cioffi to a one-year contract.

The 6-foot, 205-pound Cioffi most recently worked out with the New York Jets after signing as a free agent in February 2020.

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“I’ve been in contact with co-gm and head coach Rick Campbell — my former head coach in Ottawa — and we figured out terms and we both agreed on them,” Cioffi said. “I represented myself in this negotiation, and he made it real easy.”

The 26-year-old Cioffi returns to the league up north, having previously spent two seasons with the Ottawa REDBLACKS, suiting up at both defensive back and linebacker.

During his time in Ottawa, Springfield’s hometown hero recorded 97 defensive tackles, 13 special teams stops, four sacks, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown in 33 regular season contests and appeared in one Grey Cup in 2018, losing to the Calgary Stampeders, 27-16.

“Anthony is an impact player who can play multiple positions on our defense,” said Campbell. “His athleticism will also provide a great boost for the secondary we are building for this season.”

The four-year letter winner at Rutgers (2014-16) played in 35 games over three years for the Scarlet Knight, registering 137 total tackles, eight interceptions, 17 pass knockdowns, two fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He then attended training camp with the Oakland Raiders after signing as a non-drafted free agent in May 2017.

“It feels great to be playing again and I can’t wait to go out and do what I love,” said Cioffi, who leaves for the West Coast of Canada on May 15. “”I’ve been training daily and staying in shape, so I could be ready for my opportunity.”

The BC Lions open its preseason on Sunday, May 23 at Calgary with first kickoff at 4:30 p.m. ET. The Lions also open its regular season at Calgary on Saturday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET.