Bears Were Among Four Teams to Contact Michael Sam if He’d Gone Undrafted
Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) runs on the field before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri beat Oklahoma State 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Sam became the first openly gay NFL player on Saturday when the St Louis Rams drafted him late in the seventh round of the NFL draft. Congrats to the Rams and to Sam.
As the draft winds down, teams start working the phones to snag undrafted free agents. The Bears were among four team to contact Sam had he not been drafted:
Chicago Bears GM Phil Emery confirmed the Bears would have been “more than willing to be competitive” to try to secure the services of the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year, despite the added attention it would have provided.
"“Yeah, and that’s what the conversation was about. That’s why we were calling. It’s about his production and his productivity as a football player. No, we’ve never had that conversation because I don’t think it was necessary. Because what we want is good football players and he certainly has a skill set and production to warrant that conversation in terms of bringing him in. Obviously all of the work that we did on d-end, not only this offseason but with having David Bass, having Cornelius (Washington) here, bringing in Austen Lane, the mix of players that we have brought in – right now we’re one over on that roster spot. So had he made it through the draft, we were more than willing to be competitive in terms of free agency and hope to sign him and to beat one of those guys out because of his production. But in terms of drafting for a spot that you are already over with veteran and young players, doesn’t make a lot of sense in terms of your resources.”"
I think if Sam had joined the Bears, they’d have been a lock for Hard Knocks.