Michael Sam won’t rule out CFL after veteran combine

NFL director of football development Matt Birk described Sunday’s inaugural veteran combine as a “last chance” for many of the 105 players assembled at the Cardinals training facility.

But for at least one of them, that chance may come some place less sunny, and much colder than Tempe, Ariz.

Defensive end/object of attention Michael Sam admitted after a less-than-impressive workout that he wasn’t ruling out playing in the CFL.

“I am very confident I will be playing football somewhere,” Sam said during a brief availability with reporters on the sidelines (he never made it to the logo-festooned backdrop some poor league PR person had to set up this morning).

Of course, there was a longer availability with the league’s own television network earlier, and much of what happened here did have a reality show quality about it. The league’s going to package the best stuff and show it to you tonight, if you need to tear away from college basketball for a fix.

Heads turned when Sam made any move, and there were NFL Network cameras in his face from the moment he stretched to the moment he was escorted off the field and to a bus that took him away.

He was obviously the star of their show, and the only real reason other independent media outlets showed up at all. He didn’t take many questions, and wouldn’t talk about his “Dancing With The Stars” appearance or get too deep into much of anything.

So on the whole, it’s possible not much changed for his NFL future here today. He’s not a big guy, but we knew that already. He’s not a fast guy, but we kind of knew that already too.

He ran his 40-yard dashes in 5.10 and 5.07 seconds, slower than the 4.91 time he put up at last year’s rookie combine. But Sam was never a track guy, and his playing days at Missouri were defined more by production (11.5 sacks his senior year) than his physical ability.

So while he didn’t look particularly fluid running drills before a handful of General Managers, he probably wasn’t going to be eye-popping in this kind of setting anyway.

So the fact he’s at least considering playing in the CFL (where there won’t be cameras to document his every move) should be a sign he’s serious about staying in the game, and not just someone trying to be a reality TV celebrity.

78 responses to “Michael Sam won’t rule out CFL after veteran combine

  1. The Montreal Alouettes were ready to sign him last year. I doubt he will actually go up there and play because he clears prefers the role of victim.

  2. Idc if the dude is gay. That’s the only reason why he is talked about. He sucks as a football player, gay or straight. straight. His 15 minutes are over, write about someone actually deserving.

  3. You have to be fast to play on the giant field of the CFL. This guy can’t play anywhere. Cya

  4. Why does the media have cameras documenting his every move? Isn’t that an indictment of our current media entities?

  5. Contrary to popular belief, Canadians don’t live in igloos. The sun actually shines some days. And CFL games are shown on TV. That’s right, Canadians also have TV!!

  6. The guy wasn’t a bum in college he just ran a slow 40 and didn’t bench like he should have. If he has improved on any of those areas he just might make a practice squad

  7. This veterans combine is just a money and PR thing for the NFL. Teams are not going to take away a potential spot from a late draft pick or free agent for washed up talent.

  8. Justsome… we are not haters.. most of us are just tired of the media making it seem like this is important or that we should be interested. We all know the ONLY reason he is being written about it because he is gay, not because of his ability to play football. If it was because of his ability there would not have been one article written on this site about him. the majority of football fans are tired of it all, we want to read about football not social issues and that don’t make me a bad person.

  9. Hey why can’t one of these guys make a preseason roster, I personally will root for anyone fighting for their dream and hope they get a chance. BTW the NFL could do something like get another NFL Europe or another minor league football organization to let these guys play on and test out all new proposals and rule changes out on and we can watch football in the off season

  10. All the attention he’s getting because he’s gay is hurting his chances. No coach wants this media circus tied to a player, especially a marginal one trying to win a roster spot.

    If he really wanted to play football instead of promoting a social issue, he should stayed in the closet until he made a team. The media has doomed Sam’s chances of ever playing in the NFL because they won’t drop the “first openly gay player” theme.

  11. richc111 says: Mar 22, 2015 3:22 PM

    Justsome… we are not haters.. most of us are just tired of the media making it seem like this is important or that we should be interested. We all know the ONLY reason he is being written about it because he is gay, not because of his ability to play football. If it was because of his ability there would not have been one article written on this site about him. the majority of football fans are tired of it all, we want to read about football not social issues and that don’t make me a bad person.

    The great thing about PFT is that there are about 100 stories per day on here. If a particular storyline doesn’t interest you, why are you wasting your time reading and commenting on it??

    Some people care about this because they see it as bigger than football, some of us just like reading about a guy who is a fringe talent trying to chase his dream. If neither of these things appeals to you, fine; but why spend your time criticizing the guy or telling him to go away?

  12. Yes please go bother Canada for awhile. The U.S. is tired of hearing about you.

  13. Up here in the Great White North we dont care if you smoke the hippy lettuce or who you sleep with

    I am not sure why more guys that dont make the NFL on the first go around dont play up here for a bit, refine their skills and then go back to the NFL

    It worked for Warren moon, Cameron Wake, etc

  14. He’s not ‘just chasing his dream’.

    He could have signed the contract offered and be LIVING his dream in Montreal…. perhaps even improving his skills to come back to the NFL in the future… but NO.

    This is purely about spotlight.

  15. It seems like it’s become real fashionable to “hate on” Michael Sam.

    And you know what?

    They’re right. He’s only getting this extra attention because he IS gay.

    But the media is only giving him this attention because YOU click on the story and/or comment.

    People complaining about Michael Sam and the media coverage are either doing it because it’s their passive-aggressive way to show how much they are rooting against him (most likely because he is gay), or they are really, really ignorant as to how the media works.

    Some of the posters here need to quit blaming the media for everything, like they are just a helpless victim forced to click on yet another gay football player story.

  16. I like feel good stories where the underdog succeeds through perseverance and hard work. Sam could still be that but “the kiss” and Oprah etc maybe (I don’t know) blurred his focus.
    I assume he must be talented to be SEC defensive player of year.

  17. We’re waiting for a story of this length on each and every one of the other 104 players at the combine who also are getting their “last chance.”

  18. He’ll need to make a team in the CFL. Contrary to popular believe, the CFL is a solid football league. I’m not so sure he would make a significant impact.

  19. ReligionIsForIdiots says:
    Mar 22, 2015 3:34 PM
    Hi haters!

    6 24
    Report comment

    Coming from a guy with “religion is for idiots” username. The tolerant liberals, only if you agree with them!

  20. I think it would awesome if he caught on with the Titans during camp. This kid won SEC DPOY, so he has some upside. Maybe he could be a backup OLB. Lord knows we need the help. Our pass rush sucks.

  21. it does not matter if he is gay or straight,he just is not good enough to play in the nfl. somebody would have kept him on the roster if he was good enough.maybe he needs to play in the CFL a few years and then try the nfl again.

  22. If he can’t make it in the NFL there is a reason. He isn’t good enough. Go to the CFL that’s the last chance. Enough of the publicity because he’s gay, who cares. Just go away.

  23. The only reason he is getting this chance is because he is gay and the media is bound and determined to put him on some team, what other 7th rounder was here? what is next?…areana football?

  24. If the guy was really about football, we wouldn’t be hearing all this nonsense. I want everyone to have a chance to succeed in life. Sam needs to get his behind playing football whether its CFL or Arena or wherever. He needs to create a “position/role” for himself that can translate to the NFL. Right now he’s not good enough to be a DE in a 4-3 scheme nor is he good enough to be a LB in a 3-4 and as of right now is not a special teams player. Simple as that. He has two choices, work hard or roid up.

  25. Amazing to me that people who say they are sick of this guy feel obligated to read and comment on every story about him. It’s like they’re complaining that they hate the food and the portions are too small.

    I like stories about players on the bubble and I hope Michael Sam is able to find a place in the CFL or the Arena League.

    It’s a big leap from college to the NFL. But Michael Sam still has more skills than the pot bellied haters, most of whom never even played a meaningful down in high school.

  26. “Justsome… we are not haters.. most of us are just tired of the media making it seem like this is important or that we should be interested. We all know the ONLY reason he is being written about it because he is gay, not because of his ability to play football. If it was because of his ability there would not have been one article written on this site about him. the majority of football fans are tired of it all, we want to read about football not social issues and that don’t make me a bad person.”
    Here’s a thought. If you’re so fed up on Michael Sam stories, as you claim to be, do a Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to clicking!

    Problem solved for you. No charge.

  27. Anybody else think it’s ironic that he’s invited to the veteran combine even though he’s never actually made a team, therefore not a veteran player?

  28. He doesn’t ‘suck’ as a football player, he was a good college player but he isn’t an NFL talent. He was drafted despite the fact most responsible scouts didn’t think he was an NFL talent – but you use the late rounds to get lottery tickets and special teams players, so it wasn’t a big reach or anything. But he just doesn’t have NFL ability, and no political agenda will change that fact.

  29. Florio should have a new ‘Days without’ counter…

    Days without another irrelevant Michael Sam story.

    Yet, we still click on it… Arg! The comments do bring a smile, though.

  30. ReligionIsForIdiots says:

    Hi haters!

    Interesting reply from someone intolerant who says religion is for idiots.

  31. I’m not sure what to think of this guy. He was productive in the SEC. So, obviously he could at least play at that level. I think his announcement and the never ending media attention has hurt him. Which is unfortunate. While his lack of size, speed, and strength doesn’t make him an ideal NFL player, I do think if he was a heterosexual player some team would have looked past his measurables and focused on his collegiate production and drafted him in the 4th or 5th round. I also think that even if he didn’t show enough in his pre-season practices and games, if he were a heterosexual, he would be on some teams practice squad. Some coach would be arrogant enough to think they could figure out a way to get that collegiate production out of him at the next level.

    It’s sad that his announcement brought such a media onslaught. Hopefully, he has paved the way, so the next kid to come out won’t have to go through the same thing.

  32. I can’t believe no one has mentioned how brave he is. He is so brave. Bravety bravity bravudy doo.

  33. All this media attention for a marginal player is exactly the reason why teams won’t sign him. They’ll sign another marginal player without all the distractions. I know we’re living in the dark ages where players are still being suspended for pot, so I get it. I’m sure there have been quite a few gay players in the NFL through the years, but they chose to keep it quiet. I’m not saying that’s the right way to do it, but it’s the world we’re currently living in. Sam chose the spotlight, and the media gave it to him. If Sam was a really good player he’d be on a team.

  34. I’m pro Michael Sam, but DWTS likely messed up his physical performance. With the daily rehearsals, your body alters and you’re not in football shape.

    He must go to Canada because he can get the same money DWTS is giving him and play football.

    I’m rooting for you Michael!!!

  35. Should go to Canada, get on the field and prove himself, if he can. Talk is always cheap.

  36. I don’t understand the hate for Sam. Could he have handled the announcement better? Yes. However, I don’t understand criticizing someone for being who they are. Would it have been better for him to live a closeted lifestyle in the shadows, worrying someone would out him? No. He was the DPOY in the SEC, not some Div 3 conference.

  37. He played well in the preseason last year & was a stand out pass rusher in the SEC….it’s pretty shady that he’s not on a roster.

  38. If he’s good enough he’ll make an NFL roster…he had his chance, an even though a few teams took a flier on him (for reasons having nothing to do with ability), he proved he didn’t belong. Tebow’s persecuted and he actually delivered wins, and this guy gets press because of nothing about his football ability…give us all a break…pure politics!

  39. The guy was SEC Defensive POY. The names before him were Jarvis Jones, Morris Claiborne, Patrick Peterson, Rolando McClain, Eric Berry, Glenn Dorsey, Patrick Willis, Demeco Ryans, etc. He wasn’t even on a team an entire season. All of those names were great players coming out of college and got more than one season to prove themselves on their respective teams.

    If you think him being gay doesn’t have any kind of play into him not being on a team, you are stupid. He may not be able to be an every down player, but I’m sure he is better than a lot of those special teams players in the league.

    Also, it’s not his fault the media is obsessed with him. He is agreeing to do certain things to make money, because he isn’t making any money in the NFL.

  40. We are talking about a guy who has struggled to make a practice squad here!

    Oh, wait. He was given a token co defensive player of the year because he came out of the closet. That makes him the guy I guess.

  41. I have nothing against Sam for being gay. I just think he tried to use that for headlines and pressure to force the NFL to draft him or sign him to get PR for Goodell that the NFL is not a sexist/racist Org (whether people think they are or not). Whatever, if the guy could play lights out football I wouldn’t care if he was an openly flaming gay cross dressing transvestite who screamed that from the top of the world, I’d want him on my team. The problem is he is a mediocre LB at best at the NFL level and thats probably high praise about his skills as a football player. I just have to wonder how much Sam’s open gay announcement right before the draft was meant as a risky PR move for a player lacking true advanced skill at his position. At the NFL level the competition factor levels out the good from special. I wish him the best and he may make some team as a backup or ST gunner. I just think he lacks football talent is all.

  42. Geez, jus give it up already……you blew it when you signed on to do a reality show with Oprah! NFL teams sniffed out your real motive! #GAMEOVER

  43. The issue for Sam, is that in addition to not really having NFL ability, he’s also a ‘tweener’ in terms of his size/speed. He’s too slow to be a LB, but he’s not big enough to be a DE. In fact according to his new 40 he’s probably too slow to be a pass rushing DE. Hey it happens, lots of players are a beast in college and when they get to the NFL they don’t make the cut.

  44. Wow. Some really ignorant comments im reading here. He was a beast in college, he ran slow and didn’t bench as much as needed. Both can be fixed. He’s just a guy trying to live his dream . HES THE FIRST OPENLY GAY FOOTBALL PLAYER TO BE (Was) in the nfl! That’s a story to write about imo! It also shows his courage and bravery, especially considering that 98% of the nfl ( and apparently fans too) Think identically to that of Richie incognito. I don’t see why it bothers people so much that these sports websites write about this guy. Id much rather read about this guys journey than read about.. Tim tebow or RFA or other stuff that really dsnt matter. Let the guy try and live his dream geeeeeeez!!!

  45. He’s gone from media side show to just a very slow football player. What makes him think he can play in the CFL?Field is bigger and the game is very fast. Maybe arena league.

  46. justsomerandomguy24 says:
    Mar 22, 2015 3:07 PM
    The haters come out of the woodwork whenever there is a Michael Sam story…

    Good luck, Sam. I respect anyone who is willing to keep chasing their dream.


    He’s chasing his dream . . .

    but he’s just a little too slow to catch it.

  47. Maybe he should just try out for Arena Football I am sure the Barnstormers might get him some playing time. After all isn’t that where Kurt Warner started out?

  48. Sam is too slow to make it in the CFL, with a wider field and more overall speed than the NFL. Arena is also very fast thus he wouldn’t make it there either.

    However, he would have a great shot with NFL Europe.

  49. Who??? Sam has been given two (2!!!!!) oppurtunities to make an NFL team…both times he was cut…If the media werent so queer themselves they wouldnt even bother with any of this “reporting” Keep scraping the bottom of the barrel Darin

    Go Pats

  50. The smarter move would have been to broadcast he’s gay (was common knowledge at Mizzou) after he made the final cut on an NFL roster.

    Sam listened to the wrong people. And it’s his own fault. He played at a high level and knows what being part of a team is all about. He should have judged better.

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