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Michael Sam’s agent thinks Chargers could be a fit

Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

Before Michael Sam fits into an NFL lineup, he has to find an NFL team he fits with.

And one of his agents thinks the Chargers would be a perfect fit, based largely on the way they handled last year’s Manti Te’o hysteria.

Los Angeles-based agent Joe Barkett, who represents Sam, thought that experience and the geographic proximity were benefits.

“You know, I think the Chargers would be a great fit for him, especially considering the way that they handled the Manti Te’o issue,” Barkett told Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “It seemed to blow over very easily once the first game had happened. I think that’d be a great spot for him to land. And he’d be close to us.”

While the challenge of being the first openly gay NFL player has a little more shelf-life than the ephemeral prurience of the Te’o fake dead girlfriend story, the handling is instructive.

Barkett also said Sam was going quiet between now and the Combine, after making a splash Sunday with a choreographed multi-platform rollout of his story.

“I expect it to be pretty big,” Barkett said of Sam’s interview session in Indianapolis. “We’re working with the NFL right now to see what the most appropriate way there is for Mike to address the media. Obviously, everybody is going to want to hear what he has to say. . . .

“He definitely will be addressing the media. We’re just trying to figure out what the best forum is for doing that.”

Packing him into the same cramped podium that witnessed the Te’o, Cam Newton and other media circuses might not suffice, considering the scope of this story transcends the sport.

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27 Responses to “Michael Sam’s agent thinks Chargers could be a fit”
  1. shaggytoodle says: Feb 11, 2014 1:26 PM

    What happens when he falls because he lacks ideal measurables?

    He isn’t going to be good in coverage, and if he lines on the DL. I would run the ball right at him, cuz he weighs 50 lbs. less than the linemen about to pancake him.

  2. humb0lt says: Feb 11, 2014 1:27 PM

    If he can play and fill a need, I’d say welcome to San Diego.

  3. jimmyt says: Feb 11, 2014 1:27 PM

    “Obviously, everybody is going to want to hear what he has to say. . . .”

    I must not be part of “everybody”.

  4. chargerdillon says: Feb 11, 2014 1:29 PM

    If the dude can ball, he’s a good fit ANYWHERE

    Anybody this day and age who thinks his sexuality will in any way be a distraction is clueless.

    Everybody in that locker has one concern, can this dude produce on the field. He can be as flamboyant as Liberace as far as anybody cares as long as he brings the heat on Sundays.

    Winning cures everything

  5. mrgroovesd says: Feb 11, 2014 1:31 PM

    I don’t care if he’s black, white, purple, green, likes flowers, butterflies, tonka trucks, motor cycles…if he can play then welcome to sunny San Diego.

  6. quadya says: Feb 11, 2014 1:36 PM

    That’s great, but unless your Eli Manning or John Elway you don’t get to “pick” where you want to play. You play where you get drafted.

  7. chinahand11 says: Feb 11, 2014 1:37 PM

    San Diego will take him if he can play, heck the guy never stops moving. Back-up LB, special teams, yeah the guy is a ballplayer, no doubt. Most people care about between the lines play and not about his private life. It is of course the media beating this horse until it will die.

  8. idonthavethebloodyoucrave says: Feb 11, 2014 1:38 PM

    Chargerdillon,

    It’s sad but unfortunately that we’re not there yet. Another 10-15 years, and this will not be an issue nor a distraction. It just takes time and the culture will evolve to eradicate this bigotry.

    In the mean time, I hope the Chargers do draft Sam. I’d love to see him and Manti Teo have great careers and become the NFL’s first gay players to win a Lombardi! Go Chargers!

  9. discountdoublecheck says: Feb 11, 2014 1:38 PM

    So now coming out as gay is the same as a loon who made up a fake girlfriend and lied about it for a long time? Alllllrighty then.

    I agree completely that San Diego handled teo’s situation about as well as anyone could’ve expected them to…but this is absolutely nothing like that.

  10. arwiv says: Feb 11, 2014 1:38 PM

    He is undersized, but so are osi and mathis at that position. Not saying he’s in their league, but there have been some excellent undersized DE’s in this league.

    His best bet would probably be to transition to a 3-4 OLB if he could, but im reading that probably isn’t going to happen because he just wouldn’t be able to handle the move.

    And no, just because he can ball (in college), doesn’t mean he can fit in anywhere. If he cant transition to OLB, and he doesn’t possess elite end-around speed to make up for his lack of size as a DE, then he could easily be the classic tweener that cant find a spot.

  11. abninf says: Feb 11, 2014 1:40 PM

    His agent seems to be concerned with picking a team based on his sexuality. And let’s be realistic. This isn’t what most players on that team want to hear.

  12. skinsrock says: Feb 11, 2014 1:45 PM

    His agent is an idiot… To call out the Cowboys, Jets, & Redskins as teams he wouldn’t want his client to play for is dumb… There are only 32 teams that can draft Sam, why limit your client’s potential of being drafted? Most scouts have him being drafted in the 5th to 6th round. This means there is a potential that no one will draft Sam… Then everyone will say it’s because of the elephant in the room… Yet, every player (most likely) playing the game today has had a gay teammate at some point & they knew it. The only difference is, now the media knows it too & will cover the story at every angle.

  13. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 11, 2014 1:51 PM

    This guy came out because he thinks it’s going to help him get drafted. His ceiling is he might be a good special teams player, and he was not good at the Senior Bowl. Brilliant strategy. If he doesn’t get drafted, he’ll be able to write a book.

  14. holla2626 says: Feb 11, 2014 1:55 PM

    He is a poor man’s Melvin Ingram. It seems the agent is making it about his sexuality more so than any respectable NFLers.

  15. warhawk137 says: Feb 11, 2014 1:56 PM

    He’s actually not THAT undersized for a 3-4 OLB, the question is just whether he can make the transition. He’s, what, 6’2″ 255? That’s almost exactly what the various top-end 3-4 OLBs are, for the most part – if you look at guys like Aldon Smith, Clay Matthews, Anthony Spencer, Justin Houston, Terrell Suggs, etc., they’re all between 6’2″-6’4″ and 255-265.

    So, I don’t think size is an issue, really. We need to see the kind of skill set he can put together by the time the combine comes around. We’d also like to see him run a solid 4.7 (which is what those guys generally manage as well), and obviously good cone and shuttle times (not sure what those guys tended to do there).

    If he can do that, then GMs really just need to make the call on whether he’s someone who can wrap his head around the demands of the new position.

    I agree that he’s not a lights-out prospect, but I think we may be overstating his limitations somewhat. Physically, I think he may have the tools to make a successful transition. We just need to see how he progresses in developing the skill set.

  16. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Feb 11, 2014 2:08 PM

    Sam played with a good motor on video of his games. Got after the QB pretty good. But he is undersized for an NFL DE and is looking at making the transition to OLB in a 3-4.

    That transition will make him fall a bit I think, since no one knows how that will go.

    Makes sense that a team that runs a 3-4 defense drafts him in the mid rounds. Will need some developing.

  17. charliemeatwagon says: Feb 11, 2014 2:30 PM

    He deserves a chance to make a team and not have his team dictated by his sexuality.

  18. romosrevenge says: Feb 11, 2014 2:56 PM

    Sam’s agent is now actively identifying teams that are “good” and teams that are “bad”. A little presumptuous? His coming out now is clearly intended to put pressure on the League for a job. The team onership that want’s to do the PC thing, that wants all the attached media distraction will then be under pressure to: 1) not cut him 2) start him as a rookie 3) overlook and make excuses for bad play all season. What group of 52 players wouldn’t want all that to contend with?

  19. clashpoint says: Feb 11, 2014 3:48 PM

    Sam is average size for an outside lb, small for an defensive end. Great motor and work ethic, smart and according to his coaches, fellow players and production a very good teammate. He has every chance to make it, others with less have done it. He’s just the first openly gay player, that’s all. Once it’s not such a novelty we’ll all be happier, including him.

  20. melikefootball says: Feb 11, 2014 3:50 PM

    Is this the flavor of the week or what. Everyone from owners to coaches to players have given us there thoughts. Who cares, these players have played side by side with lets see, murders, wife beaters, gun carriers, molesters, bullies, assaults and the list goes on and on. This the best thing this kid could have done, if any team does not draft him look how the NFL will look, if they draft him and cut him look at the press it will receive. This guy has made himself a sure hire.

  21. granadafan says: Feb 11, 2014 3:52 PM

    Not a smart move by his agent to start dictating to teams who he will or will not play for. Teams have to think about their fanbase. Those which reside in very conservative and uber religious areas like Tennessee, Dallas, Carolina, Jacksonville may not be very accepting of a gay player on the roster.

  22. clashpoint says: Feb 11, 2014 3:54 PM

    The chargers as a fit though? Let’s see what Mr super anti gay right wing wacko Phillip rivers has to say about that. He supported Rick Santorum who is the biggest gay hater in America. While most nfl players would probably be cool with a gay teammate, I doubt Santorum would. The jury is out (of the closet lol) on rivers.

  23. charliemeatwagon says: Feb 11, 2014 3:55 PM

    “Michael Sam’s agent thinks Chargers could be a fit” I agree

  24. exhelodrvr says: Feb 11, 2014 3:58 PM

    The distraction will be real, but it will be caused by the media, not by the other players.

  25. xcerebus1 says: Feb 11, 2014 4:05 PM

    Has he decided whether he wants him to start right away or can they wait until after training season ends?

  26. djvicdogg says: Feb 11, 2014 5:18 PM

    I think he would be a better fit for the Raiders. Or maybe San Francisco?

  27. rohlo says: Feb 11, 2014 8:13 PM

    nor cal is definitely the best fit for him..he would fit right in up in the bay area and mesh well!

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