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Michael Sam Fails to Make St. Louis Rams Final Cut

Sam

Early reports are coming in that Michael Sam has failed to make the St. Louis Rams' final cut and will not be on the team's 53-man roster.  

Sam was widely seen to be competing for the ninth spot on the defensive line with fellow rookie Ethan Westbrooks.

Tweeted Sam:

Outsports reports that Sam will be available to the other 31 teams for 24 hours.

If he gets claimed, he will have a spot on the roster of that team. If he is not claimed, he can be added to the Rams' 10-man practice squad. This means he can practice with the team but not play, and his salary would be much less than the $440,000 he would get for making the roster; practice players are guaranteed a minimum salary of $6,300 per week for the 17-week season.

All throughout the preseason, Sam had been demonstrating his prowess on the field as defensive end - including an impressive sack of Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel ("Johnny Football") during last week match-up. 

Earlier this week, Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher praised Sams' performance, saying "I believe he can play in this league"

[photo via Instagram]


ESPN Apologizes For Segment on Michael Sam's Shower Habits with Teammates: VIDEO

Espn

In an attempt to discuss how Michael Sam is fitting in with his new teammates, ESPN aired a segment Tuesday featuring reporter Josina Anderson discussing Michael Sam's showering habits in the Rams locker room: when he's showering, which teammates he might be showering with, why he might not be showering with others, etc... 

You know, important hard-hitting sports journo stuff.

Needless to say, the clumsy report didn't go over well - with Rams defensive end Chris Long tweeting shortly afterwards:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds that Rams coach Jeff Fisher was also angry about the report:

Fisher“I’m extremely disappointed in her piece,” Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, not long before the team boarded buses for the airport and the trip to Miami for tonight’s preseason finale.

“I think it’s unethical,” Fisher continued. “I think it’s very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. (But also) the manner in which she did it.” [...]

“I’m disappointed for Mike,” Fisher said. “I’m disappointed for the players who she put in this position, and mostly I’m disappointed for her because she felt what she was doing was right — and it wasn’t right.”

ESPN proceeded to issue an apology on Wednesday, saying:

"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."

Clearly.

Watch the segment in question, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "ESPN Apologizes For Segment on Michael Sam's Shower Habits with Teammates: VIDEO" »


Michael Sam Survives First NFL-Mandated Roster Cut

Sam

Michael Sam, the first out gay player to be drafted into the NFL, made it past a critical cut in the St. Louis Rams’ roster yesterday, keeping alive hopes that he will make the team’s final lineup. AFP reports:

The Rams trimmed four players from the active roster to reach the NFL-required limit of 75 players by Tuesday, but another 22 players must be dropped by Saturday afternoon to create the final 53-man roster for the regular-season openers.

The Rams play their final pre-season game Thursday at Miami and will open the regular season at home against Minnesota on September 7.

Sam, a rookie from the nearby University of Missouri, is among eight defensive ends competing for up to six expected spots at the position. He ranks third on the right side depth chart but injuries could see the Rams keep more players than usual at the position as a precaution.

Though Sam has had a strong pre-season showing, notably sacking Johnny Manziel on Sunday, Sam’s biggest hurdle to landing a spot on the roster could be another rookie on the St. Louis bench this year, Ethan Westbrooks, who, according to Business Insider and Sports Illustrated, “is playing out of his mind” and “is the apparent frontrunner to take the final roster spot for a defensive lineman.”

The Rams' will announce the final team roster this Saturday. 

(photo via Instagram)


Michael Sam Sacks Johnny Manziel Twice in Preseason Match Against Cleveland Browns: WATCH

Manziel

In last night's preseason match-up between the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams, defensive end Michael Sam collided with quarterback Johnny Manziel twice.

On the first of the two sacks, Sam even threw up Manziel's "money" gesture as a celebratory jest.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP... 

USA Today reports:

Manziel“He’s a talented kid,’’ Sam said of Manziel. “He isn’t called ‘Johnny Football’ for nothing. It was fun getting to play against Manziel in an NFL game.”

Sam now has three sacks this preseason after he recorded his first last week against the Green Bay Packers.

Manziel said he made sure to give Sam props after the game.

“He had an incredible year when we played them at Missouri this past year,’’ Manziel said. “The guy goes through a lot of stuff. He gets heckled by everybody, I’m sure. He came up to me and said, ‘Hello.’ It was just a brief interaction. He played pretty well.’’

The Rams have one last preseason game against the Miami Dolphins this Thursday - the final chance for Sam to secure a spot on the official season's roster. Final cuts are announced August 30.

Previously, "Michael Sam Makes Historic NFL Preseaso Debut: 'I Can Play In This League' - VIDEO" 

Continue reading "Michael Sam Sacks Johnny Manziel Twice in Preseason Match Against Cleveland Browns: WATCH" »


Minnesota Vikings And Chris Kluwe Reach Settlement In Homophobic Coach Investigation

Kluwe

Chris Kluwe and the the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement following Kluwe’s pursuit of a lawsuit against the football franchise. After being let go from the Vikings, Kluwe made headlines accusing Viking management of explicit homophobia, which he claims ultimately led to his termination.

In response to Kluwe’s allegations, Vikings management initiated an internal review of events focusing on special teams coach Mike Priefer. Were the team’s investigation not to result in swift punishment for Priefer, Kluwe warned, he would file a formal lawsuit. The Vikings ultimately suspended Priefer for three games and fined him $100,000 to be paid to LGBT organizations, penalties that Kluwe felt were not enough.

“The parties intend to hold a joint press conference early next week to make public the terms of a settlement arrived at late last night,” Kluwe’s lawyer Clayton Halunen told USA Today.


Michael Sam Makes Historic NFL Preseason Debut: 'I Can Play in This League' - VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 11.26.10 AM

With 5 minutes, 13 seconds to go in the first quarter of a match-up against the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints last night, Michael Sam became the first openly gay player in league history to participate in a NFL preseason game.

As defensive end, Sam played the rest of the first half and about halfway through the third quarter.

Watch Sam's debut, AFTER THE JUMP...

Although some scouts continue to question Sam's long-term professional potential, ESPN reports Sam's coach seemed pleased with his initial performance.

"Mike played hard," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I didn't watch him individually but I saw him on the hurry and the great effort outside the pocket. Saw him on a couple other plays. He slid down and made a play in the run game that stood out. We'll watch the tape and see how he did."  

The Rams ultimately lost the game 26-24, but Sam said he had some valuable takeaways from the night: 

"That I can play in this league," Sam said. "That's the most important. I was kind of nervous. I got some nerves out today. It was a very good learning experience, and I can play in this league."

He added:

"The hardest critic is me, myself. I think I could have done a little bit better. I'm not mad about my first game, but I know I could have done better." 

Sam will have three more preseason chances to secure a spot on the Rams' roster before the season starts in September.

Continue reading "Michael Sam Makes Historic NFL Preseason Debut: 'I Can Play in This League' - VIDEO" »


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