Football / Sports

Rams practice squad might not have room for Sam

Defensive end Michael Sam went unclaimed by Sunday's waiver deadline and begins the week unemployed. Once he cleared waivers, Sam became eligible to sign with the practice squad of any NFL team. But there were only a few nibbles around the league -- nothing concrete at this point -- in what must have been a frustrating day for Sam.

It appears highly unlikely that the Rams will add Sam to their practice squad. They already have five defensive ends on their 53-man roster and have depth needs at too many other positions to cover injuries, and they need players for the scout team to run the plays of opposing teams in practice now that the regular season is here.

Practice squad players can practice but cannot play in games. They receive $6,300 a week during the 17 weeks of the regular season (which includes the bye week), which would be $107,000 over a full season. That's about one-fourth of the rookie minimum wage for a player on the 53-man roster ($420,000). Even so, it's a good spot for developmental players.

Sam, the former University of Missouri All-American, was released by the Rams on Saturday. He arrived at Rams Park for a planned interview with coach Jeff Fisher around 1 p.m. Sunday. Sam entered the building via the media workroom entrance and shook hands with a couple of reporters but declined to comment. He subsequently met with Fisher, general manager Les Snead and defensive line coach Mike Waufle, and the meeting went well.

As of Sunday night, the Post-Dispatch had confirmed the names of six players the Rams will sign for their 10-man practice squad. But they still had needs to address at quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback -- which would soak up the final four spots.

None of the 22 Rams released Saturday was claimed by other teams Sunday, so a few more of them could end up on the team's practice squad. Potential signees include QB Garrett Gilbert, WR Emory Blake, CB Greg Reid and LB Lawrence Wilson.

Meanwhile, the Rams were not awarded any players off waivers from other teams, although they may have put in a claim or two.

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