Michael Sam responds to release by the St. Louis Rams

Out NFL-er Michael Sam responds to being released by St. Louis Rams
Michael Sam

Out NFL-er Michael Sam sent a series of tweets once it was announced that he was being released by the St. Louis Rams, once again demonstrating the class act that he is a class act.

It’s clear to everyone watching that this isn’t the “finish line” for Sam.

In the next 24 hours it’s very possible one of the other 31 NFL teams will pick up Sam. If not, it’s pretty certain he will be signed to the Rams’ practice squad – giving him more time to hone his skills waiting to either be activated by the Rams or picked up by another team.

But today is not a destination.

Just a detour.

Trust and believe.

Michael Sam released by St. Louis Rams

Openly gay NFL hopeful Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams today
Michael Sam

Outsports is reporting that Michael Sam, 7th round draft pick and SEC Defensive Player of the Year hoping to become the first gay man to make an NFL regular season roster, has been released by the St. Louis Rams.

The next 24 hours will determine Sam’s immediate NFL fate. The other 31 NFL teams can put in a claim for his services and Sam would go to the team that claimed him first. If Sam is unclaimed, there is a strong chance he will be signed as one of 10 practice squad players by the Rams.

If that happens, Sam can practice with the Rams but not play in a game. For that to happen, he will have to be placed on the active 53-man roster, something that can occur, for example, with injuries to other players. Practice squad players earn a minimum $6,300 per week they are on the team. This amounts to $107,100 if he lasts all 17 regular season weeks on the squad. Had Sam made the Rams roster, he would have earned $420,000 this season. He gets to keep the $45,000 signing bonus he was given after the draft.

It would appear the decision came down to a choice between Sam and undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks. Westbrooks is one of nine defensive linemen to land a roster spot.

Throughout the preseason Sam has shown he has the skill and determination to play in the NFL. Dropping 13 pounds prior to camp, he upped his speed. And his stats warrant a spot in the league: in four preseason games, Sam stacked up 10.5 tackles and three sacks in the preseason, including two sacks of Johnny Manziel last weekend.

I think it’s clear both on and off the field, Sam has shown tremendous poise, confidence and talent.  The LGBT community can feel proud that Sam has handled himself so ably.

Here’s hoping we have good news in the next 24 hours.

Go Michael Sam!

St. Louis Rams announce 17 players cut – Michael Sam still in the mix

The St. Louis Rams cut 17 players today, and Michael Sam remains in the mix so far.

The roster is now down to 58 players. NFL rules state teams must cut to 53 players by 4pmET on Saturday.

USA Today’s TomPelissero tweeted:

NFL.com’s Michael Silver sent this to his followers:

Today’s cuts leave 11 defensive lineman still on the team. Conventional wisdom says the Rams will keep nine or 10 DL players.

According to Jim Buzinski, these are the possible scenarios facing Sam:

• The Rams go with nine defensive lineman, keep Sam and cut Westbrooks.
• The Rams go with nine defensive lineman, keep Westbrooks and cut Sam.
• Rams go with nine defensive lineman, keep both Sam and Westbrooks, and trade a veteran for a need elsewhere.
• Rams go with 10 defensive lineman, keep both Sam and Westbrooks.

If cut, Sam will be available to the other 31 teams for 24 hours. If he gets claimed, he will have a spot on the roster of that team. If he is not claimed, he can be added to the Rams’ 10-man practice squad. This means he can practice with the team but not play, and his salary would be much less than the $440,000 he would get for making the roster; practice players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $6,300 per week for the 17-week season.

Interesting to note: the Rams have already cut the 214th and 226th picks made in the 2014 NFL Draft. As we all know, Michael Sam was famously selected with the 249th pick.

A press conference has been scheduled by the Rams for 4:30pmET on Saturday.

(via OutSports)

Out NFL-er Michael Sam makes first round of cuts for St. Louis Rams

Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams

This afternoon, the St. Louis Rams kept Michael Sam on their roster as the team whittled down to the league maximum of 75.

Michael Sam is the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL.

That Sam made it through the first round of cuts is of little surprise after he posted two sacks against the Cleveland Browns on Saturday night.

Through three preseason games, Sam — the first openly gay active player in NFL history — has five tackles and three sacks. Rams coaches’ film review also credits the rookie defensive end with two quarterback pressures and a quarterback hit.

This gets Sam to the final preseason game on Thursday against the Miami Dolphins, where he’ll surely get the playing time he needs to make his case.

Final cuts must be made by 4pm ET Saturday to a 53 man roster.

ESPN reports on the tough stories like Michael Sam’s shower habits

St. Louis Rams Michael Sam in preseason training

ESPN goes deep into the St. Louis Rams preseason camp to discover the real stories – like, how’s it going with Michael Sam in the showers…?

SRSLY.

From Think Progress:

During an afternoon SportsCenter broadcast, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that an anonymous Rams player told her that “Sam is respecting our space” when it comes to the shower, perhaps waiting so as not to make some of his teammates feel uncomfortable.

Two other players who actually put their name to statements — defensive tackle Kendall Langford and linebacker Alec Ogletree — told Anderson that they “weren’t tracking” Sam’s shower habits, which seems like the natural response to such a question.

But no one got to the truth so succinctly as Rams defensive end Chris Long, who tweeted:

Clearly, ESPN is trying to create a story where there is none. Just about everyone has moved on from the “gay man in an NFL locker room” angle.

You can watch “report” from ESPN below:

St. Louis Rams’ Michael Sam notches first sack of his NFL career

Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams

History was made Saturday afternoon as my man Michael Sam, of the St. Louis Rams, recorded the first sack of his NFL career.

From CBS Sports:

On a 3rd and 19 for the Packers, the Rams defensive end lined up on the left side of the Rams line. He beat Derek Sherrod on a dip move, burst into the pocket and chased down Matt Flynn to record his first sack.

I should tell you that, as the son of a sports writer, I know EXACTLY what that all means.

I just couldn’t have written it.

Congrats to Mike on the first of many!

Michael Sam takes to the field for first NFL game

Last night, out NFL-er Michael Sam took to the field for the first time with the St. Louis Rams.

Via BleacherReport:

In fact, it’s curious that Sam played as early as he did. When the Rams’ first “official” depth chart was released a few days ago, Sam was listed as a third-stringer, but he entered the game with the twos.

As Tom Pelissero of USA Today pointed out, it didn’t take long for Sam to make a little noise, at which point the fans in attendance showed their support:

Sam played the rest of the first half, finishing with one solo tackle, one quarterback hit and one QB hurry. With rushing the passer being Sam’s forte, he expectedly looked most comfortable while going after the signal-caller, even if he wasn’t able to seal the deal.

It was about what you’d expect from a seventh-round pick fighting to make the team: Sam showed good burst on the play that got him his tackle, but he almost let the ball-carrier slip through his grasp. On some snaps he looked comfortable, and on others he looked lost.

After the game, Hall of Fame wide receiver had this to say about Sam: “He showed that he can play in this league.”

St. Louis Rams’ Michael Sam shrugs off Tony Dungy’s comments with class

And this is how you do it.

When asked about Tony Dungy’s recent comments, Sam replied: “Thank God he wasn’t St. Louis Rams’ coach. But I have a great respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.”

“It is what it is,” said Sam. “What you gonna do about it? My focus is on making this team. I’m excited to be back with the guys. Football is fun.”

Good job, Michael.