HAMILTON - The Hamilton Tiger-Cats' backfield just got a lot more crowded.

The CFL club signed tailback Martell Mallett on Monday. The six-foot, 195-pound Mallett was the league's top rookie in 2009 when he rushed for 1,280 yards with the B.C. Lions.

Mallett then signed with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and also spent time with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants before rejoining Hamilton.

Mallett joins veteran Avon Cobourne and second-year player Terry Grant in the Tiger-Cats' backfield. But the addition of Mallett may be the sign of imminent change under newly hired head coach George Cortez.

"Martell's combination of size, speed and strength makes him a force to be reckoned with," Bob O'Billovich, Hamilton's vice-president of football operations, said in a statement. "He's a very physical runner and a great receiver out of the backfield.

"Martell will provide our offence with another potent weapon."

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