Braves sign former NFL player to minor league deal

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Sanders Commings saw his NFL career come to an end in 2014 when he suffered a broken ankle during training camp.

The 26-year-old former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back is getting another shot to be a professional athlete, signing a contract to play MLB baseball for the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves signed Commings to a minor league deal in a low-risk, high-reward move.

"We feel this is a tremendous athlete and an even better person," Braves general manager John Coppolella told MLB.com. "Our mantra has always been to leave no stone unturned. What's the downside here?"

Commings last appeared in a competitive baseball game in 2008 while at Westside High School in Augusta.

He was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 MLB Draft, but chose to play football at the University of Georgia.

Following a standout career with the Bulldogs, Commings was a fifth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2013. He broke his left collarbone as a rookie and then needed surgery for his broken ankle the following summer. He played in just two NFL games, recording one tackle. 

Commings said seeing former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow sign a minor league deal with the New York Mets last year inspired him to again try his hand at baseball.

Commings has been training with former MLB player Jerry Hairston Jr.

"He's strong, he's got pop, he's just a tremendous athlete -- you just don't find that," Hairston told MLB.com earlier this month. "You never know how a guy will react in Double-A or Triple-A. But he is worth the gamble, I can tell you that.

"I told Sanders, 'We want to get the best organization for you that will help you develop and get as many at-bats as possible,'" Hairston added. "He's still young, and he's got the tools."