They’re just too well-stocked at defensive end, Sam’s position.
He arrived via the media entrance at Rams Parka still looking right at home clad in a T-shirt, shorts and flip flops. He shook hands with two reporters and accepted well wishes but declined further comment before heading upstairs to see the coach who wasn’t afraid to add the first openly gay player to the roster.
Or to cut him loose.
Fisher said numerous times during his post cutdown-day news conference Saturday that releasing the SEC co-defensive player of the year was a “football decision.” Sam was outplayed in the preseason by Ethan Westbrooks, the Rams‘ top target when signing undrafted free agents.
The coach pointed out four other late-round picks were released, and thought it a sign the franchise is on the upswing.
“There were no issues, that’s the thing,” Fisher said. “No issues in the team meeting room, on the field, anyplace.”
All 21 players released Saturday cleared waivers.
“Some may be coming back,” Fisher said. “You may see them Sunday on the practice squad, and some you may never ever see again.”
The meeting with Sam was postponed a day so he could attend Missouri’s opening victory over South Dakota State.
Sam had three sacks, one more than Westbrook. But most of the preseason, he was playing with the second- and third-stringers.
Westbrooks was the Division II defensive player of the year when he had 19 1-2 sacks for West Texas A&M, a school the Rams tapped a few years earlier for quarterback Keith Null.