Aug 30, 2014 3:25 PM
Michael Sam has been released by the St. Louis Rams.
The first openly gay football player drafted was cut by the Rams Saturday as the team revealed its 53-man roster.
Sam will be put on waivers and can sign with any team. ESPN reports that the Rams would like to bring Sam back for the team's practice squad if he's not signed by any other team.
Sam was at Missouri's home opener against South Dakota State when he was officially released. Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year for Missouri in 2013. Sam announced he was gay following his senior season.
Sam's preseason came to an end Thursday night, with a team-best six tackles in the Rams' 14-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
After that game, Sam felt he will be on the Rams or any other NFL team.
"I'm very confident," Sam said. "I'm going to sleep really well tonight and I'm very confident I'm going to be on a team, the Rams or any other team in the NFL."
He called Thursday his final exam, and afterward gave himself a B-plus grade.
"I think he can play in this league," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said after the game, "as can some of the other guys on this team who had good preseasons."
Sam, a seventh-round draft pick, didn't start but got playing time on the first Miami drive of the night. He made two tackles in a span of three plays to help force the Dolphins into a punt.
Afterward, as the Rams' locker room emptied out, Sam said his work merits him a shot.
"I did everything I could," said Sam after Thursday's loss. "Now it's out of my hands. I'm at the NFL mercy, the coaches' mercy. So we wait."
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