Nice catch by JWF.
According to NBC’s Peter King, NFL officials called teams around the league to gauge their interest in signing former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, to their practice squads.
The Cowboys signed Sam to their practice squad Wednesday. Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams but didn’t make the Rams’ 53-man roster.
King reported the news about Sam during the pre-game show before NBC’s coverage of the NFL regular-season opener between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
“The Rams waived Michael Sam, the first openly gay player trying to make an NFL roster, he was unemployed for two days,” King said. “During that time a league official contacted multiple teams asking if they had evaluated Sam as a probable practice squad player.”
“Now Sam and the NFL avoided a nightmare situation when he signed with the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.”
What’s this “nightmare situation”? Every team cut a whole lot of players during pre-season. They do that every pre-season. Cutting players who aren’t good enough is one of the purposes of pre-season. After the Cowboys signed him, owner Jerry Jones admitted that Sam “is not ready to go at all.” Yet the NFL called around, and the Cowboys signed him.
Is it standard practice for the National Football League’s office to call up teams to get one player who hadn’t made the grade picked up by another team? The fact that King reported it suggests that it’s unusual.
Now why would the homophobic NFL make such an effort for one player and not the hundreds of other players who were cut during pre-season?
Update: Exit question — did the NFL shop around to find a home for Tim Tebow?