Michael Sam's journey to the NFL has hit another snag, but he is free to keep trying to make it with the first team that gave him a chance.
The St. Louis Rams made Sam one of their final cuts, which subjected the seventh-round pick to the league's waiver process. Any team could have put in a claim to sign Sam to their active, 53-man roster, but it appears that none have.
Michael Sam has not been told of any teams that claimed him on waivers. Appears he went unclaimed. Now free to sign with a practice squad.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2014
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That could mean that Sam ends up back in St. Louis on the Rams' 10-man practice squad (the league recently expanded from eight).
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said of Sam on Saturday:
“Well, it was a football decision and it was no different than any other decision that we make. It was a football decision. It was a football decision back in May to draft Mike. And once again, 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, but Mike came in here and did everything that we asked him to do. He got a chance to play a lot of snaps. He had the second most snaps on the defensive line, to Ethan Westbrooks. He had well over 120, 130 snaps and was productive.
"But as we said on the front end of the whole...when we drafted Mike, on the front end, we mentioned that this was going to be a tough road. Those four defensive ends that we have on the roster are good and they play a lot and they’re very productive, as well as the tackles. It’s the strength of our football team. But again, it was a football decision.”
Is that a signal that the Rams could be interested in adding Sam to their practice squad? Perhaps, but it also shows that Sam getting on the field anytime soon with the Rams — barring a slew of injuries — could be tough.
Sam also could field offers to sign with any other team's practice squad now, too, but with so many teams running 3-4 schemes for which he's a poor fit, the options could be a bit limited.
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