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.