Jeff Fisher says if Michael Sam doesn't earn roster spot, he'll be cut
Historically, late-round picks don't earn regular-season roster spots, especially as rookies. And Rams coach Jeff Fisher says Michael Sam, like any other player, will have to earn that right.
One of the biggest stories heading into the final day of the 2014 NFL Draft was whether former Missouri linebacker Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, would be selected. He had to wait until the 249th pick, but the Rams finally took him.
"We were fortunate to have the supplemental choices," Fisher said shortly after selecting Sam. "You use those for players that you want to give an opportunity to, that you want to draft. He's a good football player. I'm excited about our draft and I'm excited about the possibility of adding him to our defensive front."
Historically, late-round picks don't earn regular-season roster spots, especially as rookies. And Fisher says that Sam, like any other player, will have to earn that right.
“[W]e picked him within the process and we’re going to reduce this roster within the process,” Fisher said regarding Sam (via PFT). “So I don’t see that being an issue.”
Put another way: If Sam doesn't earn a roster spot based on his performance in training camp and preseason games, he'll be released, just like most of the rookie seventh-rounders drafted by the 31 other NFL teams.
“[I]t’s going to be very competitive for him, as it will be for some of the other guys, the later picks, because of the depth and the talent level at the position,” Fisher said. “He’s going to have to come in, and like the rest of his new teammates, these rookies, they’re not in shape. Not in the condition our veterans are in. He’s going to have to work to get in great shape and we’ll blend him in the offseason program and we’ll go.”
The good news for Sam: As TheMMQB.com's Peter King notes, 18 of the 53 players on the Rams' opening-day roster were undrafted, and another three were seventh-round picks. Unfortunately, this team is stacked with pass rushers, with Robert Quinn and Chris Long leading the way, and William Hayes and Eugene Sims behind them.
But like every other player heading into training camp with something to prove, all Sam wants is an opportunity.
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