The St. Louis Rams released defensive end Michael Sam on Saturday. Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL. Sam was the 249th pick of the 2014 NFL draft. He survived a series of cuts, the most recent on Friday, but ultimately didn't make it onto the final 53-player roster all NFL teams had to announce today.
Sam was narrowly outshined by undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks, ESPN reported. The Rams reportedly want to have Sam on the practice squad, but the NFL's 31 other teams will have 24 hours to pick Sam up on waivers. Sam had three sacks and 11 tackles in four preseason games after which coach Jeff Fisher told reporters "I believe he can play in this league."
The 24-year-old Texas native became a national figure for coming out as gay to his University of Missouri Tigers team in August 2013. He was an All-American and the Defensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in his senior year at Missouri.