ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The news that Michael Sam had been cut by the St. Louis Rams, potentially ending his effort to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League, spread far and wide yesterday.

 

Coach Jeff Fisher reiterated that it was purely a football decision to pass on the former Mizzou Tiger and SEC defensive player of the year.

 

While Sam could end up on the Rams 10-man practice squad, it appears at this writing that he has gone unclaimed by other NFL teams. The Rams had subjected the seventh-round pick to the league's waiver process, thus allowing any team to put in a claim and sign Sam to their active, 53-man roster.

 

Still, many see Sam having a future in the NFL.

 

“Michael Sam is a very good defensive end and does what is so highly valued in the NFL: He gets after the quarterback, said Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports, the world’s leading gay sports publication. “This is only the next step in his journey to the NFL. He is too good to not play in the League, and he will continue to build his historic legacy either with the Rams or another team.”

 

Known for his grace under pressure, Sam posted to Twitter an hour after he was cut: “The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I’ve always known. The journey continues.”

 

Sam barreled into the history books, May 10 with a groundbreaking pick by the St. Louis Rams to become the first openly gay player drafted by the NFL.

 

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