Michael Sam released by Rams

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Michael Sam has been released by the Rams. (USATSI)
Michael Sam has been released by the Rams. (USATSI)

NFL history has been put on hold. The Rams released Michael Sam on Saturday, the team announced. The defensive lineman is the first and currently only openly gay player in the league.

Sam took to Twitter to express his thoughts following the move.

As a seventh-round pick, Sam was a longshot to make the roster, something that he came incredibly close to doing. In four preseason games, Sam tallied 11 tackles and three sacks, including a takedown of Johnny Manziel that ended with Sam doing Manziel's "money fingers."

"If you sack Johnny, you've got to do it," Sam said of the money fingers. "At least once."

Sam made it through the initial round of cuts on Tuesday when the Rams trimmed their roster down from 90 to 75. The 249th pick in the draft even survived a round of cuts that St. Louis made on Friday, when the team trimmed down from 75 to 58.

Coach Jeff Fisher's decision came down to carrying either nine or 10 defensive lineman on the team's 53-man roster and the team decided to go with nine, leaving Sam as the odd man out.

"It was a football decision and it was no different than any other decision that we make," Fisher said after Sam's cut was announced. "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."

The rookie defensive lineman was one of the final five cuts made by the Rams. Sam spent his Saturday in Columbia, Mo., where he was watching his former college team play South Dakota State.

Just because the Rams cut him doesn't mean Sam's career in St. Louis is over. The 24-year-old could still end up on the Rams' practice squad.

For now though, Sam will be placed on waivers, and the other 31 teams in the league will have 24 hours to claim him. If no other team claims Sam, then he can join the Rams' practice squad.

Sam doesn't have a team right now, but he seemed confident after the Rams final preseason game on Thursday that he'd be playing somewhere this year: "I'm very confident I'll be on an NFL roster this fall," Sam said.

For a complete list of NFL cuts, check our NFL cuts tracker.

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