Michael Sam is a step away from joining an NFL team prior to week one of the NFL season. According to NFL.com, the Dallas Cowboys are a Michael Sam completed physical away from signing the Missouri rookie to the practice squad on Wednesday.
Although Sam had a nice preseason during the games, there were reports that he didn’t practice well throughout training camp. The only problem with “talking about practice” is that nobody is going full speed. That’s why certain players look great in drills, but can’t make things happen when facing a live opponent.
In Sam’s case, he wasn’t impressive in drills, but he flourished during his time as a Rams defensive end. However, there’s always an iffy disposition when inquiring about whether Michael Sam should be on an NFL roster or not. As the first openly gay player attempting to play in the NFL, Sam faced an uphill battle from the day he announced his sexual orientation.
Michael Sam was a the Co-SEC Defensive player of the year in 2013, so he should have been a lock to get drafted in the 2014 NFL draft. However, after his announcement, Sam rapidly dropped down draft boards and continued to slide after a poor performance during the NFL combine.
As a supreme pass rusher, Michael Sam is perceived as one dimensional. He’s too small to play multiple positions on the defensive line, and they say he’s not fast enough to play linebacker in a 3-4 system. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but until he gets a chance to prove the NFL wrong, nobody will know for sure. One thing Jerry Jones does know is that Michael Sam is seventh in jersey sales since the 2014 draft.
Football is all about instincts, and he has a knack for getting after the quarterback. Maybe Sam just needs to get more reps as a linebacker to become more comfortable. The St. Louis Rams raved about Michael Sam during training camp, but they are one of toughest teams to make along the defensive front four. Also, Michael Sam is not known as a special teams player.
Once Sam was released on Saturday, 31 NFL teams had a chance to claim him off waivers, but none of them decided to pull the trigger. St. Louis had a chance to bring him back to the practice squad, but they declined as well. Instead, St. Louis brought in Case Keenum as a backup quarterback after he was cut by the Texans.
Michael Sam fills a need for the Dallas Cowboys and if he’s able to make an active roster, Sam just may help Dallas produce a much needed pass rush. First, he has to pass the physical.