With the 249th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam. This pick was a mild surprise, even Michael Silver who was in the "war room" tweeted that he didn't expect the Rams to draft Sam. Obviously things changed, and after head coach Jeff Fisher got the okay from owner Stan Kroenke, they selected the first openly gay player in NFL history.
I do not expect the Rams to draft Michael Sam...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) May 10, 2014
Rams about to make some history...— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) May 10, 2014
Being the first openly gay football player is going to be hard for Sam. Let's face it, being the first person to do anything is tough. There is going to be negativity towards Sam now that he's on the Rams. Honestly, you've heard and seen it ever since he officially came out. But Sam will now have the full support of Mizzou fans, Rams' fans, and the Rams’ players and coaches.
On NFLN just now, Robert Quinn said he doesn't see Sam as a distraction. Spoke of great meeting room he'll be joining and Sam proved himself— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) May 10, 2014
Sam: "Current teammates have texted me. I really don't know who they are, but they've been texting me." #RamsDraft— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) May 11, 2014
Fisher: "We're in an age of diversity. Players understand that. They know that." #RamsDraft— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) May 11, 2014
Here's a section from the article that Silver made about joining the Rams.
Sam, the 2013 Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year, was not rated highly on the team's draft board. An outside edge rusher viewed as a "tweener," meaning he doesn't necessarily fit as a traditional NFL defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker, Sam didn't seem to be a logical fit for a team that has a pair of highly regarded defensive ends in All-Pro Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
In my opinion I don't think Fisher drafted Sam because he was the best player available. It seems Fisher made this decision because he knew how big of a moment it would be for the sport. Having the first openly gay player - who's a solid prospect - and not being drafted isn't as big of a statement as him being drafted.
Now that Sam is a Ram the team will treat him just like any other player, so if he just doesn't fit as a player or progress qw the team would like, the Rams will let him go. History has already been made, all that's left to be known is what type of football player Sam will become in the NFL...now that he’s been provided the chance.