Dan Federkeil returns to football with Stampeders

CALGARY — The Globe and Mail

Dan Federkeil, was a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman whose career was cut short by concussions. When football ended, he decided to go back to University at age 26 and finish his economics degree at the University of Calgary.

(Chris Bolin For The Globe and Mail)

Dan Federkeil thought he was done with football. But when the Calgary Stampeders called and offered him a chance to play in his adopted hometown, Federkeil reconsidered and agreed to end a three-year retirement.

The former NFL offensive lineman, whose career with the Indianapolis Colts was cut short by concussions, agreed to a three-year contract with the Stampeders on Monday after his rights were acquired in a trade. Calgary sent non-import linebacker Akwasi Antwi to the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for Federkeil.

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The 29-year-old former U of Calgary Dino was Toronto’s first pick (fifth overall) in the 2006 Canadian Draft but signed with Indianapolis instead.

“We’re very happy to welcome Dan to the Stampeders,” head coach and general manager John Hufnagel said in a release. “When we agreed to the trade on Friday, we understood there was an element of risk because Dan had been out of football for three years and we weren’t sure if he would be interested in playing again.

“But when we spoke this weekend, he seemed eager to play and we were able to come to a cap-friendly agreement that rewards Dan if he makes the team and contributes.”

Federkeil was drafted as a defensive end but was switched to the offensive line in the NFL. He spent four seasons with the Colts until concussions forced him to leave the game. He then returned to Calgary, where he finished his economics degree, and has been cleared medically to play football again.

“My wife and I have a young daughter and we didn’t want to move to Toronto,” said Federkeil, who was born in Medicine Hat. “I saw a doctor in Calgary and was referred to a concussion specialist and there won’t be (physical) contact until training camp. It’s still a process.”