Most of the practice squad jobs around the league are filled, or will be by the end of the day.
So it stands out that Michael Sam still doesn’t have a job on one of them.
But while some teams might fear the attention that comes with employing the league’s first openly gay player, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he doesn’t think Sam’s sexual orientation is the reason he’s not signed yet.
“I doubt that seriously,” Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
The Rams figured to be his best chance, but they haven’t made a move to bring him back. Some teams will cross him off the list because he’s legitimately a bad scheme fit. The Lions weren’t interested in him initially because they like their defensive ends taller, and Sam lacks the speed to play in a 3-4 as an outside linebacker.
“He wasn’t here on our squad, we didn’t play against [the Rams) to have an opportunity to look at them,” Caldwell said. “But what I would assume is the case is the fact that he doesn’t fit in with whomever’s system, or anybody’s system right now in terms of being able to come in and play for them at this point in time. If he could, if it benefits someone, and he still may. A lot of things happen here in the next three or four days, anyway. But he still may, he may still get that opportunity.”
Sam was in familiar surroundings in St. Louis, but he also landed with one of the deepest and most talented lines in the league. Other teams lack their depth, and Sam played well enough in the preseason that a football-simple answer seems unlikely.
That only leaves our worst suspicions, which appear more true by the minute.