COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Michael Sam smiled and shook hands at Missouri's season opener against South Dakota State on Saturday shortly before he was cut by the St. Louis Rams.
In the first quarter, the Tigers introduced Sam to fans in the end zone right at the deadline for NFL teams to make their final roster cuts ahead of the regular season. The 24-year-old defensive end from Hitchcock, Texas, blew a kiss and waved while receiving a standing ovation.
He then walked back to Missouri's sideline and posed for photographs before heading into the Tigers' locker room while looking at his phone. Sam was hoping to become the first openly gay player to make an NFL team after the Rams drafted him in the seventh round of May's draft.
Sam recorded 11 tackles and three sacks during the preseason. He played at Missouri from 2010-13 and was the co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference last season.