Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he doubts that Michael Sam's sexuality is the reason he has not been signed by an NFL team.
“I doubt that seriously,” Caldwell said Monday, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
“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.”
Detroit Lions release Mikel Leshoure
Sam, who became the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft when St. Louis picked him in the seventh round this year, did not make the Rams' roster and will not be signed to their practice squad after clearing waivers. He is free to sign with any team.
Sam, 24, compiled three sacks and 11 tackles over four preseason games with St. Louis, which is considered to have one of the deepest defensive lines in the league.
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.
In his final season at Missouri, Sam recorded 11.5 sacks and was named the SEC's defensive player of the year.
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- Chris Johnson