First Openly Gay Player Drafted in the NFL



On Saturday May 10th, 2014, The St. Louis Rams made history by drafting Michael Sam.  Michael Sam made headlines back in February, by announcing to the world that he was gay.  At the time, Sam was projected as a 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft, so most expected Sam to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.  After a poor showing at the NFL Combine in late February, Sam’s stock price dropped drastically.  Did some General Mangers use his poor combine as an excuse to drop him in their rankings?  Or did these General Manager’s look at Sam strictly as a football player and nothing more?  I hope the latter is true.  While I understand the General Managers in the NFL put an unreasonable amount of value on Combine results, I don’t know if Sam deserved to drop all the way into the 7th round.  Sam was selected with the 249th overall pick.  The St. Louis Rams may be the biggest beneficiary of Sam’s draft stock dropping, as I believe they got Sam about 2 or 3 rounds later than his abilities dictate. 


Immediately following the selection, the camera flipped to Sam’s home as he received the call from The Rams.  His house was filled with family and friends who were there to share in this joyous occasion.  Most notably Sam’s boyfriend was right there by his side.  Sam was visibly overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry.  Sam’s boyfriend stood by his side the entire time and when Sam hung up the phone, the two kissed and embraced each other.  This display of affection between two men has drawn quite a reaction, and is currently one of the top stories in the sports world.  Most people are fine with this, for they understand that the world has changed and this is a personal choice that every person is entitled to make.  Others, however, are not as tolerant of Sam’s relationship, and some have gone as far as to publicly speak out negatively toward Sam.  Don Jones, of the Miami Dolphins, tweeted “OMG” and “horrible” in reaction to Sam and his boyfriends televised displays of affection.  Jones has subsequently been suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for his comments.    


I believe that every one in the world has the right to do what makes them happy.  If being gay is a choice that makes Sam happy, then who are we to tell him he is wrong?  Ignorance, unfortunately is everywhere, but the best thing Sam can do is ignore the negativity and stay focused on the game he loves.  Now, when it comes to football, I believe he should be judged solely as a football player and a teammate.  All the other stuff shouldn’t play a role in his place on The St. Louis Rams or any other team.  This is why I believe Sam unfairly dropped in the draft, but nonetheless, he was drafted.  He now has just as good of an opportunity to make the roster and receive playing time as anybody else.  You would think that despite his poor showing at the combine, his game will translate to the NFL.  He was only an All-American and was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season.  That sounds like a 7th round pick to me!  In all seriousness, we should be happy for Sam and every young man that was drafted this year.  They each have a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in the NFL, and they should give it their all.   



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NFL Free Agency Continued (Day 2)

Day 1 of free agency in the NFL was just a warm-up for the real action.  Day 2 is where all the big moves came pouring in.  There were many big moves all across the NFL, but one clearly stood out amongst all the rest.  Wes Welker, the longtime Patriot signed with their AFC rival Denver Broncos.  This is a huge deal for the Denver Broncos.  Let’s take a quick peak at that receiving core and see the weapons Peyton Manning will have to work with this coming season.  He has Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside, and now Wes Welker will fill in the slot for Manning’s high powered offense.  Combine that with the Broncos good young defense and solid rushing attack, and you might see Peyton playing in Eli’s house come Super Bowl Sunday.  While I’m sure that Tom Brady is upset to lose such a dependable receiver in Wes Welker, the move they made Wednesday is not a bad replacement for Welker.  The New England Patriots signed Danny Amendola to their roster.  Danny Amendola is a younger version of Wes Welker and should fit nicely into the Patriots offense.  I think Amedola will actually improve with Brady’s help, assuming he can stay healthy.  The only concern with Amendola is that he is injury prone.  However, in New England being one of many options should keep him healthier longer, unlike in St. Louis where he was the only receiving option.  His workload with the Rams could have a lot to do with his prior injuries.  Another huge signing Wednesday was the former Miami Dolphin Reggie Bush signing with the Detroit Lions.  WOW, can’t you just see it now?  Megatron and Reggie Bush on the same field should be something special to watch in the Motor City.  Another running back on the move Wednesday was Rashard Mendenhall.  The former Pittsburgh Steeler was signed by the Arizona Cardinals.  When healthy Mendenhall is a very solid back that could help any team.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up a solid safety in former San Francisco 49er, Dashon Goldson.  And as if the Seattle Seahawks defense needed to get any better, they signed former defensive end and former Detroit Lion Cliff Avril.  This should strengthen their pass rush and bring more toughness to their defense.  One last defensive signing that took place on Wednesday was former Philadelphia Eagle Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed with the Denver Broncos.  Maybe this will keep the Broncos secondary from having any deep balls launched over their heads.  Ouch.  Too Soon?  Na, definitely not soon enough.  Ah yes, I almost forgot, the New York Football Jets.  What a train wreck they are.  The news regarding the Jets is not who they’ve signed.  It is the lack of signings by the Jets and the amount of players they’ve not re-signed and let walk out the door that is the concern.  Strong Safety Laron Landry has signed with the Indianapolis Colts and should give Andrew Luck some help on the other side of the ball.  He is a hard hitting safety that should bring the pain in the middle of the Colts secondary.  The Jets also let Shonne Green slip away, as he signed with the Tennessee Titans.  This move I’m not all that upset about because I never thought Green was good enough to be a featured back anyway, but they need to sign someone.

There are still some big names in limbo in free agency, that should get signed in before the weekend.  Some of those names are: Greg Jennings, James Harrison, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Steven Jackson, and last but certainly not least Brian Urlacher.  All of these names have yet to find their final destinations for the upcoming season.  Hold on to your hats because this ride isn’t over yet.  You can check back tomorrow for the rest of the signings here @

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!