First Openly Gay NFL Player Michael Sam’s Future After He Is Cut By The St. Louis Rams
Michael Sam would have become the first openly gay active NFL player had he made the St. Louis Rams’ roster but his journey took a detour on Saturday when the team cut the lineman to get their roster down to the maximum 53 players.
On Saturday, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter broke the news, tweeting, “No history yet… Rams released DE Michael Sam. Prime practice-squad candidate.”
After Sam was cut, he was placed on waivers, meaning any other team could put in a claim and land the former SEC Defensive Players of the Year. Yet, not one team put in a claim for Sam and the former Missouri star is officially a free agent.
Many believe that Sam will likely end up on the Rams’ practice squad, a group of up to 10 players who are not officially on the team roster but practice and travel with the rest of the team.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher says that may be hard because the team “needs more bodies” at other positions.
“The practice squad is heavily dependent on what you do in other positions,” Fisher said after cutting Sam. “If you’re familiar with our roster right now, we’ve got five linebackers, for example. We need linebackers on the practice squad. I’m not going to go into what his odds are or what those opportunities are until we sift through things tomorrow.”
The Rams’ practice squad remains Sam’s likeliest spot for the upcoming NFL season, which officially kicks off on Thursday.
“The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known,” Sam tweeted after receiving the news. “The journey continues.”
Time reports that Sam will likely “end up on the Rams’ practice squad. From there, he would continue to work with the staff that drafted him in May, honing his skills and proving his worth on the football field. He would then wait week-to-week as other NFL teams considered picking him up or until the Rams activated him for a game. The journey isn’t over, it just took a left turn.”