We’re just days removed from his release with the St. Louis Rams and the speculation that he would at least make their practice squad has been all but squashed. Sam is the first openly gay player in the NFL and became the first to be drafted.
Coach Jeff Fisher and the organization took a Chance on Sam with one of their three 7th round picks back in May. Knowing the type of attention it may bring, Fisher brought in Sam to compete and add depth to an already stout defensive front.
Aside from all the attention. speculation, and distraction Sam put together one of the most productive preseasons of any player competing for a roster spot across the NFL. He accounted for three sacks, one of which came against Johnny Manziel when Sam stood up and gave the infamous money tip taunt that Johnny Football has made his signature.
In Sam’s final game, he proved his worth not only as a pass rusher but as a defensive lineman who could play against the run on first and second down. He had 6 tackles in one game, finishing with 11 total tackles and displayed what coach Fisher called “effort plays.” He definitely proved he could shed blocks at the NFL level.
It was expected that he would make the Rams 10 man practice squad if he cleared waivers but, as we saw on Sunday, that did not happen. The Rams kept only one defensive lineman for their 10-man squad, only based on areas where they felt the roster was thin.
As mentioned before, the Rams are stout along the defensive front as it is so Sam making the team seemed to be a long shot.
Another thing that’s hurt Sam is the fact that he’s too slow to play outside linebacker. The Rams run a 4-3 scheme, which was perfect for Sam because he could play with his hand on the ground like he did in college. Majority of teams across the NFL have converted to the 3-4 and Sam just isn’t built to fit that scheme.
For now, Sam must sit at home and wait to become the first openly gay player to actually play in the NFL. You have to think that someone will call his number eventually and that all his media attention will die down soon.
As a Missouri fan, I’ve pulled for Michael Sam since day one. I hope that one of the best defensive players to ever play for the University will one day soon, find his way onto an NFL roster.