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NFL reportedly tried to get Michael Sam signed after Rams cut him

Michael Sam Cowboys

The NFL would have a public relations disaster on its hands if Michael Sam were not on a team’s roster, so the league did what it could to make sure that didn’t happen.

THEMMQB.com’s Peter King reported on NBC’s pregame show Thursday that the NFL contacted multiple teams regarding their potential interest in Sam after the defensive lineman was cut by the St. Louis Rams.

Sam played well in the preseason for St. Louis, but the team already was incredibly deep on the defensive line and decided to let him go. The Dallas Cowboys ended up bringing him in and signing him to their practice squad.

Though Sam proved in the preseason that he is worthy of a practice squad spot in the NFL at the very least, it’s unusual to see the league reaching out on behalf of one individual. This proves that Sam is getting some preferential treatment, which probably does not sit well with many people.

[Related: ESPN reports on Michael Sam's shower habits]

In addition to the league making calls after Sam was cut, there has been a lot of speculation that they encouraged the Rams to select him in the draft. As it was, Sam was one of the last picks in the draft and not selected until pick No. 249 out of 256. It would have been an absolute disaster had Sam not been given a shot in the league. They know that and are trying to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Cowboys to sign Michael Sam to practice squad

Michael Sam RamsThe Dallas Cowboys are reportedly planning to sign Michael Sam to their practice squad on Wednesday if the former St. Louis Rams defensive end passes a physical, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Sam was released by the Rams last week in a move that surprised some after he played well in the preseason and showed his ability to get to the quarterback. It was even more surprising that St. Louis didn’t keep Sam on its practice squad, but the former co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year was not on the unemployment line very long.

There have already been rumblings that Jerry Jones is bringing in Sam as a public relations stunt, especially after it was recently revealed that the Cowboys owner desperately wanted to draft Johnny Manziel in order to assure his team’s relevance. However, the Cowboys need all the help they can get on defense and are very thin at defensive line — especially after losing DeMarcus Ware in the offseason.

We’re not saying Sam is or ever will be anything close to Ware, but he has a legitimate shot at getting on the field if he impresses on the Cowboys practice team. I’m sure Jones will enjoy selling Sam jerseys, but signing Sam is almost certainly a football move.

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

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.

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

Jeff Fisher rips Josina Anderson for Michael Sam shower report

Jeff Fisher Rams

Jeff Fisher is the latest person to criticize Josina Anderson for her report Tuesday that included information on Michael Sam’s showering habits with the St. Louis Rams.

Though ESPN apologized for the “manner in which” they presented the report, Fisher still had harsh words for Anderson.

“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece,” Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday. “I think it’s unethical. I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.”

Fisher went on to say that Anderson was “out of line” for contacting Rams players outside the facility to put together her report.

“She was out of line because she went and contacted several players on their personal time. Misled them with questions and then put this piece together.”

I won’t get on Anderson for doing that. Part of being a good reporter is developing relationships with players so they feel comfortable giving you information. She obviously was successful at accomplishing that. Her report provided some information many felt was pertinent to the situation, but the manner in which it was reported was terrible.

ESPN (sort of) apologizes for Michael Sam shower report

Michael Sam RamsAfter initially defending its report about Michael Sam’s shower habits in the St. Louis Rams locker room, ESPN finally received enough pressure from the masses to issue a half-hearted apology on Wednesday.

“ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report,” the network said in a statement. “Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.”

For those who missed it, Josina Anderson discussed how Sam is fitting in with his teammates by passing along information she got from players about when and with whom Sam has been taking his showers. One Rams defender supposedly said Sam is “respecting our space” while two others said they weren’t keeping track of when the former Missouri star cleans himself. Shocking, I know.

[WATCH: ESPN shares report about Michael Sam's showering habits]

Rams defensive end Chris Long later sent a tweet directed toward ESPN, basically saying Sam’s sexual preference is no longer a topic of interest for anyone but the World Wide Leader. ESPN initially defended Anderson’s reporting on Tuesday.

“In response to recent questions about Sam fitting in with the team, multiple Rams brought up the shower topic and we relayed that information as part of our reporting,” the network said, via Shutdown Corner.

We get that Anderson was just passing along information, but it didn’t seem like there was enough there to constitute a news story. To me, the report represented an uncomfortable invasion of privacy.