Photo: via Instagram.
Michael Sam's dreams of playing in the NFL will have to wait. The defensive end fell short of becoming the first openly gay player to play in a regular season NFL game after he was cut by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday afternoon.
At first glance, Sam's release isn't the least bit surprising. After being selected in the seventh round at this year's draft, the Texas native was considered something of a longshot to make the squad. Despite his obvious talent — Sam was named the 2013 Southeastern Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year — the Rams are particularly deep at his position.
That said, Sam did have a very strong pre-season showing, which explains why he survived the first round of cuts. Unfortunately, the squad was forced to bring their roster down to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.
Lesson learned: Making the NFL is really, really hard.
The good news is that he's liable to join the team's practice squad, which will make him eligible to sign with any team during the regular season.
"I want to thank the entire Rams organization and the city of St. Louis for giving me this tremendous opportunity and allowing me to show I can play at this level," Sam tweeted. "I look forward to continuing to build on the progress I made here toward a long and successful career," he added. "The most worthwhile things in life rarely come easy, this is a lesson I've always known. The journey continues."