Michael Sam hopes for a spot at the NFL’s first veteran Combine

AP

Ten months after he was the most talked-about seventh-round pick in the history of the NFL draft, Michael Sam is hoping for a new opportunity to jumpstart his NFL career.

As a result, Sam has applied for a spot in the NFL’s first-ever veteran Combine, USA Today reports.

The NFL announced last month that the veteran Combine will take place on March 22. It is intended for players like Sam, who played well for the Rams in the 2014 preseason but was cut just before the start of the regular season. Sam spent some time on the Cowboys’ practice squad but hasn’t yet been on an active 53-man roster.

If Sam can turn heads at the Combine, he’d have a chance of making a 90-man offseason roster and earning a spot on a regular-season roster. If not, his fallback option is going to Canada, where the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL are interested in his services. That route might actually be a better option for Sam. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake was cut by the Giants as an undrafted rookie in 2005 but had two good seasons in the CFL in 2007 and 2008 before signing with the Dolphins and becoming a four-time Pro Bowler. Sam could do the same.

But for now, Sam views the CFL as his second choice. His first choice is to catch on with some NFL team, and the veteran Combine will, he hopes, be an opportunity to show teams that he’s ready to play.

126 responses to “Michael Sam hopes for a spot at the NFL’s first veteran Combine

  1. Enough already!!!! This guy doesn’t deserve to play in the NFL.. He tried to manipulate everyone by playing the gay card because he’s not very good.. It backfired and now he’s just a nuisance that won’t go away

  2. he’s done.. bigger distraction than Johnny Football & not even as good of a player, which is saying a lot

  3. He brought it on, himself. He wanted the spotlight, now no team wants the circus that comes with him.

    I’m fine with him being gay, but the distraction would take away from a team as a whole.

    Media really could cut this guy a break by letting him fly under the radar. Hopefully he would use a second chance wisely.

  4. Let us speak frankly here, if Sam didn’t pull the coming out stunt, he wouldn’t have been drafted at all. Jackson Jeffcoat had better statistics and measurable and he wasn’t drafted either but you don’t see people implying there’s a conspiracy against him.

  5. Seriously..teams were already willing to deal with the negative PR of cutting him and not even giving him a practice squad spot…

    That tells you everything you need to know.

    I hope he works his way onto a team, but he made the mistake of forcing his story into the national spotlight without the talent to back it up.

  6. I like the vet combine… But isn’t this about scouting and the teams staff?? Why aren’t they doing their jobs?. Run the combine during the Probowl week and against these pro bowlers… I bet you would have an entertaining game to say the least with guys who are looking for jobs vs those who could care less about the game..

  7. The media will ruin it for him again..he is not good enough simple as that gay or not,……………….

  8. This dude was relevant for a few months because he came out of the closet. I think those few months proved how prejudice the gay community is against the straight…the kid isn’t good enough to play in the NFL and all of a sudden it’s because of his orientation.

  9. Does he really want to go through the humiliation of being shown how bad an athlete he is compared to other OLB/DE’s???? He’s too fat, too slow AND too weak to play in the NFL!

  10. Montreal was a home to Jackie Robinson.

    Any team you go to in the CFL will treat you like a star.

    Sack a Hamilton QB twice and you can sleep in my house.

  11. The combine is worthless, and now they’re going to have another one?

    I can’t believe NFL teams go to this stuff. Watch film. That’s it. How high a guy can jump means nothing if he can’t play the game on the field.

  12. Personally I more interested in whether or not Tim Tebow can make a team. Frankly, I didn’t think he was that bad, but clearly needed to work on some things. He has worked with top notch QB coaches, and stays in great shape. You may or may not care about his stance in life, but the guy did throw and run for 29 TD’s, only 9 INT’s, ran for almost 1000 yards and helped his team win a division title and a very awesome playoff win. I am curious to see if the work he has put in during the past year and a half made a difference Should be interesting but I think he will hook on somewhere, he is better than most back ups in the league and some starters already. Much more interesting to me than Michael Sam who will most likely never play a down in the NFL, which Tebow already has played several.

  13. How can a guy that has spent less time on an active roster than Jadevon Clowney (so far, anyways) be considered an “NFL veteran”?

  14. Anyone who says he isn’t talented in an idiot. he was the SEC defensive player of the year. Be honest and just admit that you’re a bigot.

  15. This NFL veteran combine is a great idea. Gives veterans a chance to prove their merit, where they may otherwise not have such an opportunity. I hope ex-Chargers WR Denarius Alexander is given a shot there. If fully healthy, he certainly can be a game changer!

  16. BTW The only reason he won SEC player of the year was because he is gay. This wasn’t a new story when he ‘came out’ before the draft. He had ‘ come out’ a year before… The voters for SEC player of the year all knew he was gay. The voters are the press who are massively pro-gay. It was a sham when they gave him the award.

  17. I would love to see TEBOW make a team as I am certain he would have contributed more to half the teams in the league as a back-up. As for sam, I say judge him on his merits. If Incognito can get another chance why not TEBOW and sam.

  18. Anyone who says he isn’t talented in an idiot. he was the SEC defensive player of the year.

    Great, Gino Toretta, Troy Smith, Jason White, Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch all won the Heisman, tell me more on how college awards are relevant.

    Sam was a very good college player, that doesnt necessarily translate to being a good NFL player.

  19. Guy proved by even thinking about doing a reality show that he is more interested in the $$ than actually being a football player.

    Had he buckled down instead of going the TMZ route, maybe he would have been on an NFL roster.

    As things are, teams will not touch him-not because he is gay, but because they do not want the distractions. As the Browns have learned from the Manziel disaster, too much press is a bad, bad thing for an NFL team.

  20. If a person is critical of Sam, that person is labeled a bigot. Why is that?

    Reality is that Sam is too small to be a DE and too big to be a LB. I watched him play last preseason. He was not impressive. He was the last guy to react t the play every time the ball was snapped. Not to mention he was the last guy to the ball. He gets a couple sacks and people think he is Reggie White, Michael Strahan and Mark Gastineau all wrapped up into one.

    If he could play in the NFL, he would be playing in the NFL.

  21. Did Florio pay him to do this just to ensure that there’d be “news” between now and the draft?

  22. He screwed himself when he came out in hope it would get him drafted, he got bad advice…sure It got him drafted rather than going the undrafted FA route, but teams have enough distractions from starters they certainly don’t need more from a back-up.

    Let’s call it the Tebow factor, Tebow is not an NFL starting QB, but he is a heck of a lot better than most of the leagues back-ups, but no one wants him because of the circus that comes with him

  23. The new guy 12, thanks for abbreviation the list, I was thinking the same thing, with a lot more players, I’m sure there are a couple more SEC standouts, can I interest anyone in some purple drank?

  24. casualmalexlfan says:
    Feb 8, 2015 4:07 PM
    How can a guy that has spent less time on an active roster than Jadevon Clowney (so far, anyways) be considered an “NFL veteran”?

    ———————————————————————-
    Hey they came up with this stupid idea just for guys like Sam and Tebow so they can make any rules they like.

  25. Even if he can’t play in the NFL, it would seem he could generate some much needed positive local media for the 49ers…

    Just sayin’

  26. He’s applied for this veteran combine where approx 100 players or so will be chosen to actually participate. Hmm… If he doesn’t get chosen to be one of those players I smell “public” outrage. Uh oh…

  27. Yeah that makes perfect sense. He was named SEC defensive player of the year because he’s gay. I guess I didn’t realize that most sportswriter had such a pro gay agenda and that these awards were given out based on sexual orientation. Where do you people even come up with this stuff?

  28. Am I the only one who wonders where the hell a
    “Veteran Combine” has been for the last 30 years?

    Seems like an idea whose time is long overdue, regardless of the sexuality of any participants

  29. All I know is, this guy can play, based on what we saw from him last preseason. Anybody who can’t see that is blinded by other considerations.

  30. One thing about PFT…
    whenever I ask myself,
    “What would my great grandad have said
    in 1940 about issues like calling Native Americans
    “redskins” or blacks the “n-word” or “the gays” (I can’t use the word he would have…

    I can always come to PFT… 🙂
    It may be 2015, but in here,
    it’s still 1940 on certain issues… :p

    [downote to prove my point!] 🙂

  31. YouEnvyTheSeahawks says:
    Feb 8, 2015 4:01 PM
    We’ll gladly take anyone who can play and who is willing to apart of the best defense in the NFL and best team. The Seahawks are the CLASS of the NFL and do not discriminate.
    ——————————————

    You’re right. You let everybody on the WR core of the Patriots get a turn to score….

  32. Didn’t he already have his chances in the NFL?
    And if teams are turning him away because of sexual orientation then that should be their right.

  33. Michael Sam has proved himself to be irrelevant. I marvel at the thought there is now a Veterans’ Combine. Anything for the advertisers’ dollars, I guess.

  34. He shoud come here to Montreal and play in the CFL. Its really not a bad alternative.

    He would have a better chance to play and show himself, plus sexual orientation is really not a big deal in Quebec.

  35. Every year thousands of new prospects emerge from the college ranks. This guy has no chance against those odds when one considers the baggage he brings with him. And I’m not talking about his orientation. Just how he handled it. And seemed to impugn the integrity of all NFL rosters by claiming his orientation was more prevalent in the NFL than people knew. That comment alone put him on every GMs red flag list. They won’t touch him. He better head on to Canada if he wants to play professional football again. Because his NFL days are over IMO.

  36. No, Sam cannot do the same. He might have a very successful carreer in Canada, but he’s not Cameron Wake. He does not have 1/10 Wake’s abilities. He can’t latch on somewhere because, spoiler alert, he doesn’t have the talent.

    If only the only prerequisite was desire an hard work, we could all watch Sam & Tim Tebow light up the NFL.

  37. “I wish we knew the demographics for all the anti-Sam closet case commentors here.

    White, poor, religious, red staters no doubt”.

    I am not poor, I am atheist, I am a blue stater!
    Do you stereotype much???

  38. casualmalexlfan says:
    Feb 8, 2015 4:07 PM
    How can a guy that has spent less time on an active roster than Jadevon Clowney (so far, anyways) be considered an “NFL veteran”?

    ———————————————————————-
    Hey they came up with this stupid idea just for guys like Sam and Tebow so they can make any rules they like.
    —————————————

    Tim Tebow played multiple years, was a starting NFL QB and helped a team make the playoffs. Try all you want to equate them, but they are on vastly different levels veteran.

  39. Dude had two sacks in limited preseason action last year. So to all the PFT trolls saying he can’t play in the NFL, what logic are you using? And what did he ever do to warrant being called a clown? I hope he gets another chance.

  40. If a person is critical of Sam, that person is labeled a bigot. Why is that?

    Liberals pull that all the time. Republicans are critical of anti-poverty programs that in reality promote and extend poverty, therefore they “hate the poor” and are “against the little guy”.

  41. So when did showing up for the preseason to play blocking dummy constitute being a “veteran”? Are these going to be a “veteran combine” or “Camp body combine” where they invite every NFL wannabe fromt he last ten preseasons to fail again? All Sam is or was is another camp body and his being gay shouldn’t change that fact. Go away already, you had your shot.

  42. Starting to really feel for this guy, he gets rail roaded at every turn. As far as I can tell, all he’s done is quietly ask for an open tryout at the veteran combine and as soon as word gets out it becomes a media story met with comments that he should “Just go away already”. What, the guy should quit because every time he tries to continue his football career the media is all over him? Maybe he can’t cut it but he should have the right to do everything he can to try.

    I think the Oprah Winfrey thing has been held over his head way too long. He made a mistake and apparently that mistake means complete and indefinite open season is allowed because “he’s asking for it”. Can’t count how many times he’s been cornered by the media and been asked that no win question of “Do you think you have the talent to play in the NFL?” and his affirmative answer (which any young NFL prospect should give) becomes yet another story about how “Based on talent, Michael Sam feels he should be in the NFL”. The media’s got him trapped in a barrel and is firing from all angles and the public just eats it up.

  43. “Dude had two sacks in limited preseason action last year. So to all the PFT trolls saying he can’t play in the NFL, what logic are you using?”

    Dude was probably playing against people who are selling insurance now

  44. megatronownsyou says:
    Feb 8, 2015 5:11 PM
    Yeah that makes perfect sense. He was named SEC defensive player of the year because he’s gay. I guess I didn’t realize that most sportswriter had such a pro gay agenda and that these awards were given out based on sexual orientation. Where do you people even come up with this stuff?

    ——————-

    Yet you think anyone who doesn’t genuflect to his orientation and DEMAND he play in the NFL is a bigot. Where do you come up with that level of accusation? The guy doesn’t have the talent. Period. Why even talk about a 7th rounder who failed? You aren’t talking about the other hundred or so 7th rounders who failed, are you?? Because he’s GAY, and that is all that matters to you and you have the nerve to call US bigoted.

  45. “Dude had two sacks in limited preseason action last year. So to all the PFT trolls saying he can’t play in the NFL, what logic are you using?”

    Dude was probably playing against people who are selling insurance now
    Don’t you think if a team thought he could help them win they would sign him? some people try to see bigotry where there isn’t so they can make themselves feel superior by denouncing it.

  46. So are we going to have articles about all the other failed veterans trying to make the combine? I guess that would be no. The guy can’t be a regular footballer if we don’t treat him like regular footballer.

  47. 9mike9 says:
    Feb 8, 2015 6:30 PM
    Starting to really feel for this guy, he gets rail roaded at every turn. As far as I can tell, all he’s done is quietly ask for an open tryout at the veteran combine…

    9mike9, please remember HE is the one who brought out his orientation to get himself drafted. No one else did. “Quietly ask?” that ship sailed the second he tried to turn it into a TV show. There has NEVER been anything “quiet” about Sam’s grandstanding. Feel sorry for the 100 or so OTHER 7th rounders who showedup, worked as hard as they could, and walked away disappointed but without a built in socially accepted crying towel to blame thier faileure on.

  48. natelan says: Feb 8, 2015 5:08 PM

    I wish we knew the demographics for all the anti-Sam closet case commentors here.

    White, poor, religious, red staters no doubt.
    ====================================

    And that’s a bad thing because?????

    Bottom line here is Sam was hoping for an advantage playing the card, and it didn’t help him. May have hurt him, nobody knows for sure, along with the distraction(s) from playing it. End result, he cannot function at an NFL level of play, else he’d be on a team. His lack of ability at the NFL level is what’s holding him back, NOTHING else.

  49. Hi skolvike,

    As I said, I think that he probably had some people whispering in his ear at the beginning (probably lots of activists encouraging him to be a story beyond football), he made a mistake and he’s paid for it every step of the way since. These days he can’t file paperwork with the NFL to enter the veteran combine without people taking it as some sort of grandstanding about his sexual orientation.

  50. Too small for the d-line & too slow to be a linebacker. No amount of “combines” will change the facts.

  51. He’d be a good fit in Green Bay, then Matthews could take more plays off in critical games (should they play any in the near future)

  52. Sam did not come out , he about to be outed and wanted to beat the news cycle–next he was not good enough—and on top of that brought much more problems than talent. Not a good way to win a job!

  53. megatronownsyou says: Feb 8, 2015 4:26 PM

    Anyone who says he isn’t talented in an idiot. he was the SEC defensive player of the year. Be honest and just admit that you’re a bigot.
    —————
    GMs want to win. Coaches want to win. If Sam could help a team win, he would have a job.

  54. Hi skolvike,

    As I said, I think that he probably had some people whispering in his ear at the beginning (probably lots of activists encouraging him to be a story beyond football), he made a mistake and he’s paid for it every step of the way since. These days he can’t file paperwork with the NFL to enter the veteran combine without people taking it as some sort of grandstanding about his sexual orientation.

    9mike9, I hear you, but Sam might learn a valuable lesson. Actions have consequences. Whatever the reasons behind it, Sam obviously used the gay card to get drafted and I wouldn’t make any bets he expected it to KEEP him on a roster due to the expected hit a team would take cutting him. It failed and we are supposed to feel sorry for the guy? Really? He tried to set himself up as different than other potential draftees and it got him drafted and he is still playing the same card.

    Now that tells me one thing. If two teams risked the negative PR of cutting him, he must be a pretty poor football player on the NFL level when they could have at least stashed him on the PS or bottom of the roster for POSITIVE PR. That speaks volumes about his football ability, or rather lack thereof, at that level. I twas better for the teams to cut him for someone who might be able to play.

    One other thing I mentioned. Why does his being gay trump all the efforts of all the other 7th rounders? How many of THOSE guys are going to get invited to the Vet Combine? One 7th rounder who proved in TWO teams he couldn’t cut it gets invited because he’s gay? And that is fair?

  55. Get better at playing tackle football. Then people will listen for the right reasons. You are just playing hero to all the social warriors that exist today. Its wearing thin.

  56. megatronownsyou says: Feb 8, 2015 4:26 PM

    Anyone who says he isn’t talented in an idiot. he was the SEC defensive player of the year. Be honest and just admit that you’re a bigot.

    ___________________________________

    Let me ask you a question: Have you heard of Jason White? Glenn Dorsey? Rolando McClain? What about Trent Richardson, or Aaron Curry, or Jonathan Dwyer, Tim Tebow, LaRon Landry….etc etc etc. All former players of the year in their respective conference and/or former all americans. It means nothing a lot of the time with respect to NFL talent. Lol, you are so blinded by your own witch hunt for bigots that you cant see that you yourself have the issue. This dude should get a crack at every teams roster because of his orientation? Its ridiculous. Who is the evaluator of NFL talent, you or NFL scouts and coaches?

  57. Hi skolvike,

    Some good points and I agree with you, he shouldn’t be the only guy being talked about before the veteran combine. But I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t want to be talked about at this point. All the attention makes teams less likely to want to deal with the headaches of signing him. He’s in a no win position right now because the way some are responding to this article you’d think it was written by Michael David Sam instead of Michael David Smith. Media jumps on every little tidbit about him and many respond as though the words come from Sam himself. It’s sort of like the way the media gradually started to hurt Tebow’s chances of landing anywhere no matter how well Tim learned to keep quiet.

    The last paragraph I don’t follow…as I understand it, MDS picked up a brief mention from another article (linked in the story above) that Sam had applied for the veteran combine and decided to feature it here as a story in itself. I’m not aware that Sam has actually been invited, only that he’s asked for a spot…? I think you’re just projecting what you believe will happen?

  58. CNN has just found its go-to story for the next couple of months (unless a plane crashes or a cruise ship gets stranded in the meantime). By the time they get finished airing story after story about his every move, people will think Michael Sam is running for President in 2016.

  59. I’m not sure how good Sam is at football, but he’s sure good at keeping the silly diehards stirred up. That’s worth a roster spot by itself. lol

  60. 9mike9,
    You are correct that he wants to be invited but as far as I know no one has received an invitation at this time. You are also correct that Sam gets a ton of publicity and that is the media’s fault. The Media keep beating this discrimination horse and how “brave” he is for coming out, yaddda yadda. That’s crap. When is the last time you heard anyone coming out as guy get anything but kudos and congratulations? Brave? Please.

    Sam wanted the publicity of being gay. There is no other reason he had to give his boyfriend a big sloppy kiss when he got drafted. That was a huge declaration. Sam will continue to play the abused victim as long as he can and the media will continue to cry crocodile tears for him because that is the PC thing to do. Please don’t fall for his quivering little lip and “Poor me” act. He’s played the gay card for all it’s worth and look where it got him — Not one but TWO teams gave him a shot and when he failed at both of them, the league itself BEGGED some other team to give him a try. Why? Because he’s gay. That’s it. Period. And 31 other 7th rounders look on wondering why THEY never got another shot when he is trying for his third. So tell me why anyone should feel sorry for the scrub.

  61. Two sacks in preseason means nothing. This guy is a” tweener”. He is too small to be a full-time defensive end and too slow to play any linebacker position. If no one knew he was gay, he still wouldn’t be on a team. I’m so tired of hearing about this guy’s personal life. It’s totally irrelevant.

  62. I love pro football, and football in general, but I’m starting to hate the NFL

    This seems nothing more than a vehicle to get some programing on NFL Network and get some more press between the SB and the draft.

    And this being the NFL, if you are good enough to help a squad, some team will sign you. See ex-convict Mike Vick, numerous perpetrators of domestic violence (pre-Ray Rice of course), drug policy violators (PEDs and recreational), etc. Sam just isn’t good enough.

  63. navyvike says:
    Feb 8, 2015 8:00 PM

    He’d be a good fit in Green Bay, then Matthews could take more plays off in critical games (should they play any in the near future)

    ______________________________

    GB totally outplays Seattle in Seattle for 50 minutes, but is doomed by inept in-game strategy by McCarthy. Seattle then blows the SB to NE on a neutral field due to a horrible play call. If McCarthy’s not the worst in game manager in the NFL, GB would be the SB champs. Thankfully for him, deflate-gate took all the press when it should have been about his horrible game mgmt.

  64. I’m rooting for him, because so many of you aren’t. Hope he kills the combine, gets signed by Seattle and becomes an All-Pro and leads them to a Superbowl

  65. shlort says: Feb 8, 2015 4:42 PM

    “…If he could play in the NFL, he would be playing in the NFL.”

    ———————————————–

    Well, it’s not that simple, is it? There certainly aren’t a TON of guys who play elsewhere then make it in the NFL, but we’ve seen it enough to know that it can happen.

    Guys on the fringes of a roster get fewer chances to prove themselves, and a lot of guys get cut before really getting much playing time. That wasn’t necessarily the case with Sam, as high profile as he was.

    He should go to the CFL. If he made a roster and played for a year or two, that would be much better for him (or anyone) than waiting for an NFL roster spot.

    I’ve heard a couple of former players say that the main difference between those who stick in the NFL and those who don’t is not physical ability as much as doing all the prep work it takes to really be prepared – both mental and physical. So if Sam puts in the work, he may make it onto a roster at some point.

  66. If he was smart he’d take the Canadian offer. Gain some strength and skill while making a little money, then take another shot at nfl in a few years. It’s more of an opportunity than most people get, he would be a fool to pass it up just because it isn’t exactly the route he envisioned for his career…

  67. There is just too much of a media circus surrounding Michael Sam. Therefore no team will want to take on that headache. He would have to be really good for a team to take a chance like that.

  68. Sam is as good as Wake? He is better than Wake!

    He was SEC player of the year. There are 3-4 teams in the SEC that are better than most teams in the NFL. In addition, in last years’ preseason he had the highest ratio of sacks per downs played. He reminds me of a young Deacon Jones.

  69. All I know, is that it was pretty touching to see two grown men, all sweaty and bruised, after a game of the ages, tightly hug each other at midfield. They were whispering into each others ear about how great the other was, and expressing love for each other. I read the tall guy called the shorter tougher dude ‘babe’. This was Brady and Edelman just after winning the last super bowl.
    Yet, we seem to get all phobic over a guy who just stated he likes dudes.

  70. You people sicken me!!!!! Michael Sam is a human being, not garbage. He came out because he wanted to stop hiding in the closet. He didn’t do it for attention or publicity. I person does not choose to be gay, just the same as you don’t choose to me with a woman. Now, stop going on about how Michael Sam wanted attention, no person in their right mind would come out gay with that intention…!!!!!!

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