Defensive end Michael Sam may have been cut by the team that drafted him, but it appears more likely that he’ll be signed by an NFL team before the start of the 2014 regular season. According to multiple reports, the first openly gay NFL player is on the verge of joining the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
Sam will reportedly take a physical in Dallas on Wednesday, and be signed to the practice squad if he passes. He failed to make the St. Louis Rams’ 53-man roster on Saturday, and was also left off their practice squad.
In four preseason games, Sam recorded three sacks. He led the Rams with six tackles in the final exhibition contest.
Prior to being drafted in the final round by the Rams, there were questions surrounding Sam's size and athleticism. He is considered too slow to play linebacker, and not big enough to play defensive end. Teams also don't use players of Sam's size on special teams, thus decreasing his chances of making a roster.
There has also been discussion that the intense media coverage has hindered Sam's chances of making a team. However, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said his decision to cut Sam was purely for football reasons.
"It was a football decision, and it was no different than any other decision that we make,'' Fisher said. "It was a football decision back in May to draft Mike. 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. Mike came in here and did everything we asked him to do. He got to play a lot of snaps -- he had the second most snaps on the defensive line (in the preseason) to Ethan Westbrooks.''