After Michael Sam was selected with one of the final picks of the NFL Draft by the team two hours away from his college campus, some speculated that the league either asked or put pressure on the St. Louis Rams to make the selection.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher emphatically denied that the NFL put pressure on the Rams telling “The Dan Patrick Show” that the Rams “had no contact with the League office on any player whatsoever.”
It turns out there was pressure for the Rams to take Sam, but not because of the historic nature of being the first openly gay player in the NFL and not because the NFL wanted it to happen.
Rams general manager Les Snead was a guest on NBC Sports’ “Pro Football Talk Live” and explained that they wanted to add two undrafted rookie defensive ends after the draft.
However, defensive end is one position the Rams are set at with two good starters and two dependable veteran backups.
This is a big reason why the Rams are not a good team for Sam to start his career with. After the draft, Sam could have fielded a number of offers and picked one where he was more likely to make the team and receive playing time.
The Rams knew this and knew that undrafted free agent defensive ends would probably not sign with the Rams if they had other offers. So, with 11 draft picks, including four in the final round, it was decided to use one of those picks on a defensive end they would have rather signed after the draft.
Michael Sam turned out to be that player.
In the end, Sam was drafted into a situation he probably would not have wanted if given the choice and that is exactly why the Rams made the pick.
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