The Los Angeles Rams are signing kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Hajrullahu has kicked for three Canadian Football League teams in his career, beginning with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2015, then the Toronto Argonauts in 2016, and most recently the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2018-2019.
Hajrullahu was a CFL All-Star in 2016 and 2019, and he kicked the game-winning field goal for Toronto in the 2017 Grey Cup:
With 53 seconds left in the game, his boot held steady in the slushy conditions – connecting with the ball to send it soaring over the uprights as over 36,000 fans looked on at TD Place Stadium. The field goal gave the Argos a 27-24 edge heading in the final seconds. It turned out to be game winner as the clock ran down and the Calgary Stampeders failed to respond to the Argos’ late offensive surge.
The #Rams are signing CFL all-star kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, per source. He’ll get a chance to replace Greg Zuerlein, who left for Dallas.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 13, 2020
Hajrullahu went 47-of-55 on field goal tries in 2019 with a long of 56. For his career, he’s made 83.3% of his 287 attempts over six seasons. He drew interest from the league in 2019 but ended up returning to Hamilton, but the team released him this year so that he’d be able to freely negotiate and sign with an NFL team in 2020.
His family wound up in Canada in 1998 as refugees from Kosovo:
A year later, his parents, mom Tevide and father Nijazi, fled Kosovo with their son and two daughters in tow and found their way onto a refugee flight bound for Canada. Together, they would build a new life in the safety of Ontario — and they would never forget what it means to leave everything behind.
”We stuck together, through the toughest times,” Hajrullahu said of the journey that bonded his family forever. “We know how precious life is. We understand how fortunate we are to live in a free country, with everything going wrong in the world. We’re very thankful that Canada gave us a home.”
He has since become a bit of a placekicking star in Canada, and he’s now on the LA Rams, getting the first shot to succeed Greg Zuerlein.