No player generated more attention from the media at Sunday's first-ever Veteran Combine. It remains to be seen whether NFL scouts feel the same way, though, after the free-agent defensive end ran an unofficial 5.07 40-yard dash and held his own during on-field drills.
"I did the best I can," Sam told scribes after his workout. "I did just as good if not better than the other guys here, so I'm pretty confident."
The NFL's first openly gay player has been out of the league since the end of October, when he was released from the Cowboys' practice squad, an October transaction he chalked up as a "business decision." Operating close to his pre-combine weight on Sunday, Sam told reporters that he's been working out in California at Jay Glazer's Unbreakable Performance Center.
Asked if he found it odd that no team has picked him up, Sam, a seventh-round pick of the Rams last May, told the group: "I'm not surprised, maybe a little bit."
"I am very confident that I will be playing football this year, somewhere," Sam said, adding that he would be open to joining the CFL if no NFL team comes calling.
Sam appeared slightly piqued with the excess attention as he watched the rest of Sunday's defensive linemen fade away into the shadows across the field. The media glare has been part of his story from the start, but Sam emphasized that his focus is solely on football, shooting down a query about "Dancing with the Stars" with a quick request: "Next question."
"As long as I still have that will, as long as I'm still healthy, and can play this game," Sam said, "you will continue to see me fighting to get in this league."
Sunday marked his first step on-field toward another chance at making that happen.