Michael Sam has been cut by the St. Louis Rams, but many believe the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year still has a good chance to become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL.
Sam had a strong preseason for the Rams, with three sacks and a number of quarterback pressures, but could not make headway in a logjam at defensive line for the Rams. He was cut as the team moved down to the 53-man roster.
Sam seemed confident that he could make the team. After the Rams’ final preseason game, he tweeted that the contest was his final exam. Sam rose to the challenge, leading the team with six tackles.
After the game Sam was asked by reporters how he would grade his performance.
“I did good,” Sam said. “I give myself a B-plus. I’m very proud of myself, like I said, of how I fought the run.”
“You know what, it’s not going to be like the draft,” he continued. “I’m very confident that I’m going to sleep really well tonight and I’m very confident that I’m going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL.”
Michael Sam would be the first openly gay player in the NFL. There have been a handful of players who came out after their playing days ended.
This year saw the first openly gay professional athlete in a major American sport. NBA player Jason Collins, who came out a year ago, played for the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Experts believe that Michael Sam could find a new home soon. He showed a knack for getting after the quarterback for the Rams this preseason, and many see him as deserving of a roster spot elsewhere.
There is still a chance that Michael Sam could end up with the Rams. If he makes it through the waiver wire he can be placed on their practice squad, at least if one of the league’s other 31 teams doesn’t pick him up first.