03/23/15 by Rennie Detore
Michael Sam made news in college as one of the more athletic, fiercest and hardest working linebacker. But the real headline came when Sam told the world that he was openly gay just as he was finishing that illustrious college football career and the NFLDraft loomed large.
Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the final round of the 2014 draft but failed to make the squad. The speculation once Sam was drafted by the Rams was not so much if he would make the team, which is a rarity for players drafted that low, but whether his potentially getting left off the squad was more about his lifestyle and less about his talent.
When Sam was released by the Rams, various persons, Sam included, took their sides and stayed pat with how they viewed what transpired.
Was Sam let go because of being openly gay?
Did he really even get a chance with his history and background?
Those questions might deserve answers in a different forum or can be speculated for months and years to come, but the one truth that can't be debated is that, while being a hard working player and quite the collegiate standout, Sam just isn't that good of a player.
Plain and simple, and that declaration has nothing to do with anything other than what you see on the field or when he lines up to practice, which he did recently when he worked out for scouts for one last attempt at an NFL career.
Sam flopped big time at the NFL Combine, which clearly hurt his draft stock more than any front page story about his sexual preference. Sam's college teammates talked about how wonderful of a teammate he was and that him being openly gay doesn't change how they felt about him as a person or question if they would have played alongside him knowing that.
Nor should it.
But Sam's journey to the NFL isn't marred by anything more than he just can't compete at the highest level of football, in a league that takes players like Sam, chews them up and spits them out to the CFL or Arena Leagues on almost a daily basis.
While Sam and others may want to play a different card or hand as it relates to why he isn't an NFL superstar or at the very least on a roster can do so as long as they'd like. The fact of the matter is Sam isn't suiting up on Sundays because he isn't suited to play in a league that is far and away superior to what he brings to the table as an athlete.
That story might not have as much sizzle or play as others but those with any NFL acumen understand that's what needs to be the focal point when Sam's name surfaces regarding having any sort of future in the league.
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