Battista: Sam proves he belongs
The St. Louis Rams released the seventh-round draft pick on Saturday, the team announced. The defensive end was one of the front office's final cuts as the Rams trimmed their roster down to the 53-man limit ahead of Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. NFL Media's Albert Breer reports that Sam cleared waivers on Sunday.
Sam looks like a strong candidate to make an NFL team's practice squad after putting together a preseason body of work that saw him make a consistent impact in the box score. He could also land on another team's practice squad, which mostly get put together on Sunday.
NFL Media Columnist Michael Silver reported Sunday night that Sam will not be on the Rams' practice squad:
"He said, 'Yes, sir,' and he said, 'I understand,'" Fisher told reporters. "He said, 'Thanks for the opportunity,' and I said, 'Michael, I'm looking forward to visiting with you tomorrow.' He goes, 'I am, too.' That's really all that was said."
Fisher acknowledged that he was "pulling for" Sam after the rookie "did everything we asked him to do" and played the second most snaps on the defensive line behind fellow pass rusher Ethan Westbrooks.
"I didn't really see anything good nor bad out of him, but we'll look at the tape. But he played hard, got a lot of snaps," said Fisher, while noting that he believed the former Missouri star "can play in this league."
Last year's SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year might have more luck joining a club light on defensive pass rushers, but it's fair to point out that every team but the Rams passed on Sam in May's draft.
"Mike's got ability. Mike played well," Fisher said. "He has the ability to play someplace. It's gotta be the right place, it's gotta be a fit. As someone told me years ago, the difference between a good player and an average player in this league is just snaps, it's reps. He's a much better player now than he was when he got here."