All eyes have been on Michael Sam this summer, and despite a very solid performance throughout the preseason where he undoubtedly proved he could play in the NFL, the St. Louis Rams have cut Sam in a somewhat surprising development. However, St. Louis apparently intends on signing him to the practice squad if he is open to it.
Can confirm that in fact the Rams did release Michael Sam. He could well end up on their practice squad. ESPN had the news first
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 30, 2014
It appears the Rams opted to head into the 2014 campaign with the undrafted rookie out of West Texas A&M, Ethan Westbrooks, as one of the final members of the defensive line instead of Sam, although Westbrooks making the team has yet to be announced. Sam’s strong showing was masked somewhat by Westbrooks’ surprising preseason performance and is likely the main reason he was cut.
St. Louis has an incredibly deep starting front-four and the reserves are nothing to sneeze at either. One has to assume that Sam’s showing this summer has raised enough eyebrows for the opportunity of landing on another team’s 53-man roster, perhaps one like the Atlanta Falcons who could undoubtedly use the help.
Sam was fairly confident that he had proven his doubters wrong and would make the team, or any team as he indicated to the press recently, so this development must come with some disappointment. But he must take it in stride with the understanding that he will be playing regular season NFL football before he knows it, whether in St. Louis or elsewhere.