Sam hoping to make NFL return in 2016

Michael Sam, who decided to take a break from playing football when he quit the Montreal Alouettes last month, plans on trying to make an NFL roster in 2016.

Sam was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams last year. He was released by the Rams during the preseason and later picked up and let go by the Dallas Cowboys, before playing on and off in the Canadian Football League.

“I’ll try to pursue my NFL career,” Sam told ABC-17 in Missouri on Thursday. “Taking a break this year was very smart. I think it was one of the smartest things I’ve done in a long time.”

Sam said he has fired his agent and publicist and is focusing on his media training.

“Right now, I’m just focusing on me and what my needs are,” Sam said.

Sam, who said he reached a point where he was worried about his own mental health when he decided to leave the Alouettes, has been at the University of Missouri, where he has been working on his master’s degree.

The 25-year-old Sam encountered difficulty in the NFL because at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, he did not exactly fit the prototype of a defensive end or an outside linebacker. Sam was co-defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference while at Missouri.

In May, Sam signed with the Alouettes. He left the team during training camp for unexplained personal reasons and returned after a two-week absence. He made his debut for the Alouettes in August, becoming the first openly gay player to appear in a CFL game.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” Sam said of his life. “I’ve been trying to figure out what’s next in my life. I’ve just come to a conclusion, as I take this break from football, I want to focus on my media training, just try to get into broadcasting and commentating.

“Since I came out (as gay) in February 2014, I realized that I’ve been in the media for so long and so much, that I’ve kind of gotten used to it. I wanted to wet my feet a little bit and see if this could be a career of mine in the future.”

Sports Xchange

Michael Sam, who decided to take a break from playing football when he quit the Montreal Alouettes last month, plans on trying to make an NFL roster in 2016. Sam was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team when he was selected in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams last […]

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