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Stephanie McMahon invites Michael Sam to WWE Raw

Michael-Sam-WWE

Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams last week and was not signed to the team’s practice squad, meaning he is free to pursue a job elsewhere in the NFL. In the meantime, the former Missouri star has been invited to speak to WWE fans during next week’s edition of Monday Night Raw.

On Tuesday morning, WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon invited Sam to appear on Raw in a letter on WWE.com:

Exhibiting class and dignity rarely shown in professional sports, Michael Sam, WWE invites you to next Monday’s Raw to speak of your struggles to succeed, lessons you have learned along the way, the courage it takes to be yourself and the prospects of your continued journey.

You are a role model, who, by example, can encourage everyone to stand up and openly be themselves.

Signed,
Stephanie McMahon
CBO, WWE

Sam has not yet responded to the invite, and he might be better off focusing on football and trying to convince a team to sign him instead of making public appearances at a WWE event. NFL stars like Chad Ochocinco and Michael Strahan have appeared on Raw, but that was after their careers were established. While Sam’s story is unique and certainly one worth sharing, his mind is probably on one thing only at the moment.

H/T Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz

Tom Coughlin goes off over Odell Beckham questions (Audio)

Tom-Coughlin-Least-Wanted-NFL-CoachWith less than a week remaining until the New York Giants kick off their 2014 season, Tom Coughlin is sick of fielding questions about his first-round draft pick. When a reporter asked about Odell Beckham Jr. — who has battled hamstring injuries throughout the offseason — on Monday, Coughlin went off.

“Why don’t we … let’s just let this kid get better, OK?” Coughlin began, per Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger. “Everybody, settle down and let the kid get better.”

What Coughlin said next made it difficult to determine if he is more frustrated with the media or Beckham’s inability to get healthy.

“I mean, I went to him yesterday and said, ‘Look, let’s just not have any more setbacks. Whatever it takes to get over this, let’s do this. Let’s encourage him and not let him feel like he’s an outsider, let’s get on with it,’” Coughlin said. “But, I mean, to talk about it every day, I’ll let you know when he’s ready to do something. I’ll let you know.”

A reporter then asked Coughlin why he felt the need to get defensive, at which point the 68-year-old head coach admitted Beckham might be a few weeks away from playing.

“Because it’s every day,” he said. “It’s the same question over and over. He is not ready to play. He may be a couple, three weeks away. So we’re not going to talk about him. We have a game to play. Can we talk about the guys playing in the game, instead of just the people on the injury report? Thank you for bearing with me on that.”

Beckham re-injured his hamstring on Aug. 19, though the Giants later insisted the rookie did not have a setback. He has not practiced since, and Beckham said he doesn’t even remember why he stopped practicing to begin with. The situation has been extremely cloudy, plus Beckham is a 12th overall pick. That’s why reporters keep asking.

If they ask again on Tuesday, Coughlin might really blow a gasket.

Eric Wood blames ESPN for Michael Sam not signing with team after release from Rams

eric-woodFrom the time Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday as part of their final cuts, speculation began about what would be next for last year’s SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Sam recorded 11 tackles and three sacks during the preseason, including this memorable one of Johnny Manziel. Despite showing perhaps more than some expected, Sam didn’t make the Rams’ 53-man roster.

After clearing waivers, Sam is now a free agent. However, the seventh round has yet to receive any offers. Why is up for debate. Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Eric Wood has a theory and it involves the network that reported on Sam’s showering habits.

Certainly ESPN isn’t the only culprit of the massive amount of coverage Michael Sam has received since being drafted, but the point made by Wood is a valid one. Any team that signs Sam will obviously not only be signing a defensive player, but the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL.

It would be premature to say Michael Sam’s professional football career is over after just beginning. The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League have reached out to him, although they have yet to hear back. Whether it’s the Alouettes or someone else, the next team Michael Sam suits up for should be prepared to deal with the media attention that comes with it, fair or not.

Jimmy Johnson: Jerry Jones comes across as a rich A-hole

Jerry-Jones-Jimmy-JohnsonThere is no love lost between Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones. The two were teammates at Arkansas, where the won a national championship together in 1964, before rekindling their winning ways with back-to-back Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl championships in 1992 and 1993. It was all downhill from there.

As Jones reminded us in a lengthy feature that was written by ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr., his relationship with Johnson soured 20 years ago. Despite Johnson’s success with the team, Jones said he has no plans of inducting him into the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

“Disloyalty … I couldn’t handle the disloyalty,” Jones told Van Natta Jr. “Whether it was right or not, by every measurement you can go, I had paid so many times a higher price to get to be there than he had paid, it was unbelievable.

“There was just an undermining that went on. It’s subtle. It’s smart. I lost my tolerance of having an associate, a friend, not be loyal. I’ve been told, ‘That’s trite. You should be bigger than that.’ I mean, really, am I so dumb that I don’t know you don’t fire a coach after y’all just won two straight Super Bowls?”

Johnson remembers it quite differently. The legendary coach says Jones brought him in with an understanding that Jerruh would handle the business side of things and Jimmy would handle football. When rumblings of the Cowboys being a dynasty started, Jones wanted more credit.

“When I went to the Cowboys, Jerry told me he’d handle the marketing and money and I’d handle the football and we’d make history,” Johnson said in a statement included in the feature. “That changed after the first Super Bowl. I appreciate the opportunity he gave me and I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish.”

After reading all the things Jones said about him in the piece, Johnson sounded a bit less appreciative.

“(The feature was) about like I expected,” Johnson told Bob West of the Port Arthur News in an email. “Jerry comes across like a rich a–hole.”

Both men are getting old. Johnson and Jones are 71. Give the success they enjoyed together, you would think one or both of them might express a willingness to bury the hatchet now that they have entered the twilight years of life. Jerruh’s recent comments make it seem like there is little to no chance of that ever happening.

H/T Dallas Morning News

Stephen Hill’s agent blames Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow for Hill’s release

Stephen-HillThe New York Jets released wide receiver Stephen Hill on Saturday. Hill, a former star at Georgia Tech, has been a disappointment since the Jets drafted him with the 43rd overall pick in 2012. But as far as the 23-year-old’s agent is concerned, Rex Ryan and company set Hill up to fail.

After Hill was cut, his agent Alan Herman criticized the Jets for not putting his client in a position to succeed.

“I’m disappointed in Idzik and Rex with the way the whole thing went down there,” Herman told Jim Corbett of USA TODAY Sports. “Two years in that kind of situation is disheartening.

“He didn’t have a chance that first year with that whole Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez fiasco. … His second year, Geno Smith was learning how to play quarterback. So they never threw the ball deep because they wanted to simplify things for Geno.”

Hill ran a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL Combine and was at one point an extremely promising young talent. While he hasn’t exactly played with Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, Hill has had some brutal drops in big situations. His progress has also been hampered by knee injuries.

We all know the Tebow experiment was a disaster and Sanchez was below-average at best. However, there are plenty of wide receivers across the NFL (Larry Fitzgerald, Josh Gordon, Andre Johnson, etc.) that have carved out impressive careers with poor quarterback play. That’s a pretty lame excuse from Hill’s agent, who anticipates his client will be scooped up quickly.

“I would think the Browns would put in a claim,” Herman said. “(Coach Mike) Pettine knows him and they need receivers and Stephen can stretch the field.”

Are the Browns really the best team for Hill? What if the whole Hoyer-Manziel thing becomes a circus? At least his agent will have someone to blame.

Michael Sam released by Rams

Michael Sam money gesture

The St. Louis Rams released Michael Sam as part of their final roster cuts on Saturday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While it had long been reported that Sam was on the roster bubble, his fate with the Rams will come as a surprise to people who watched the former Missouri star throughout the preseason. There were times when Sam did a great job of pressuring the quarterback, registering two sacks, two QB hits and four QB hurries on 133 preseason snaps.

Sam is slightly undersized for a defensive end and it not exactly a freak athlete, but many felt he had showed enough to earn a spot on the Rams roster. The fact that he does not play on special teams made it a tougher decision for the Rams. St. Louis will likely try to keep him on board as a practice player, but don’t be surprised if Sam finds a home elsewhere.

More Michael Sam coverage:
Video: ESPN reports on Michael Sam’s showering habits
Chris Long: Everyone but ESPN is over Michael Sam being gay
Video: Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, flashes money sign

Giants fan has ‘Eli’s Brother’ on back of Peyton Manning jersey

Giants-fan-Eli's-brother-jersey

Has Eli Manning won more Super Bowls than his older brother Peyton Manning? Yes, yes he has. Is the younger Manning a better quarterback? Well, no, no he isn’t. Don’t tell that to the New York Giants fan you see in the photo above.

As Twitter user @ev0lemi pointed out, Some guy who was at the Giants’ final preseason game on Thursday night had a Denver Broncos jersey with Peyton’s number on it but “Eli’s Brother” on the back.

My first instinct was to bash this guy, but then I realized one important thing — he was also wearing a New York Mets hat. That kind of says it all.

H/T Next Impulse Sports