Michael Sam: Openly Gay Rams Draft Pick Now Without a Team

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Micahel Sam made history just a few months ago when he was a 7th round pick by the St. Louis Rams. He made history, as you recall, not so much for his ability as a player, but because of his sexual orientation. Michael Sam is gay.

Upon hearing he had been picked, Sam realeased photos of himself and his gay partner celebrating the news with a passionate kiss. He became a household name instantly.
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Now he is a player without a team. NBC Sports reports:

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL draft, did not make the Rams’ 53-man roster.

 

The Rams cut Sam in one of their final moves today, the team has announced.

 

Sam arrived in St. Louis with great fanfare — but with long odds to make the regular-season roster because the Rams were already deep at Sam’s position, defensive end. But Sam played well enough in the preseason that there was increasingly talk in NFL circles that he had a good chance of making it.

 

Unfortunately for Sam, he was simply caught up in a numbers game, and the Rams decided that he wasn’t one of the top 53 players on their roster. He could still return to St. Louis on the practice squad, a decision that would come in the next couple of days.

 

But first Sam will go through waivers, which means every NFL team will have a chance to put in a claim for him. Considering how well Sam played in the preseason, there’s a good chance that some other team will take him, and that he’ll be on a 53-man roster when the season begins. But that 53-man roster will not be in St. Louis.
Shortly after he was released by the Rams, Michael Sam said he sees today as just a minor setback.

 

Sam wrote on Twitter that he still believes he’s going to make it in the NFL, even if he didn’t make the Rams’ 53-man roster after today’s final cuts.

 

“I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level. I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career,” Sam wrote.
The St. Louis Rams soon have a decision to make regarding seventh-round rookie defensive end Michael Sam. In a Tuesday appearance on PFT Live, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explained that Sam could still have a difficult time making the team, despite a couple of sacks in the preseason.

 

With the Rams destined to keep eight defensive lineman, Sam will be competing with Ethan Westbrooks, who arrived undrafted from West Texas A&M for the ninth spot. If the Rams decide to carry 10 defensive lineman on the 53-man roster, Sam and Westbrooks will both stay.

 

As Rams G.M. Les Snead told PFT Live in May, the team used a late-round pick on Sam due to concerns that it would be difficult to persuade rookie defensive ends to choose to join a loaded depth chart via undrafted free agency. Westbrook, to his credit, embraced the challenge.

 

As Peter King of TheMMQB.com pointed out on Tuesday, Sam could be destined for the practice squad. To get to the practice squad, however, Sam would first have to clear waivers. And there’s a good chance Sam has played well enough in the preseason to prompt a team with needs at the position to make a claim on Sam’s contract.

 

So, basically, all those 96 jerseys in blue and gold could soon be worthless.

(T)

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