Rookie defensive end Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL when the St. Louis Rams picked him in the seventh round of this year's draft, has been cut from the team.
Sam, 24, compiled three sacks and 11 tackles over four preseason games.
SI.com tracks NFL final roster cuts
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who came under scrutiny in July for saying he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam because he "wouldn't want to deal with all of it," has commended Sam for his play during the preseason.
Earlier this week, The MMQB's Peter King wrote that the Rams' defensive line depth combined with the unlikely emergence of undrafted free agent defensive end Ethan Westbrooks had hurt Sam's chances of making the roster.
"This is not about what Sam, the seventh-round defensive end from Missouri, hasn’t done. It’s about what free-agent defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks from West Texas A&M has done—and about the depth of the St. Louis defensive line. The Rams came to camp with a solid core of eight defensive linemen likely to make the roster, and planning to keep either eight, nine or 10 on the final roster. The solid eight are still solid. Westbrooks charged into the lead for the ninth spot early in camp and has been outstanding in practices and games. Sam is a worthy challenger. Keeping 10 would be a stretch, but Sam’s play has now made that a tough call."
Sam could be added to the Rams' practice squad if another team does not claim him off waivers.
In his final season at Missouri, Sam recorded 11.5 sacks and was named the SEC's defensive player of the year.
- Chris Johnson