A day after Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams, he remained unclaimed by any other NFL team.
Under the league’s waiver process, any team could have claimed him for its 53-player final roster, but none has done so. That means that Sam, the 249th pick in the seventh round of the NFL draft, is now free to sign on as a practice-squad player with any team, although the Rams would seem to be the most likely to add him to the 10-player practice squad. Even if he does sign with the Rams, it’ll be tough for him to get onto the field, though, given the team’s depth on the defensive line. Still, Sam, trying to be the first openly gay player on an NFL regular-season roster, made a favorable impression on the Rams.
“Well, it was a football decision and it was no different than any other decision that we make,” Coach Jeff Fisher said when Sam was cut Saturday, indicating he would talk to Sam on Sunday. “It was a football decision. It was a football decision back in May to draft Mike. And once again, it’s been all about football.
“I will tell you this: I was pulling for Mike. I really was. I don’t say that very often, but Mike came in here and did everything that we asked him to do. He got a chance to play a lot of snaps. He had the second most snaps on the defensive line, to Ethan Westbrooks. He had well over 120, 130 snaps and was productive.
“But as we said on the front end of the whole…when we drafted Mike, on the front end, we mentioned that this was going to be a tough road. Those four defensive ends that we have on the roster are good and they play a lot and they’re very productive, as well as the tackles. It’s the strength of our football team. But again, it was a football decision.”
On Facebook, Sam wrote:
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.
The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues…