Sports

Rams release Michael Sam, 1st openly gay player drafted in the NFL

  • St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) looks up at the scoreboard from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    St. Louis Rams defensive end Michael Sam (96) looks up at the scoreboard from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Dolphins defeated the Rams 14-13. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 13, 2014, file photo, St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility in St. Louis. Sam and the Rams visit the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night,  Aug. 28, 2014, the last exhibition for both clubs and the last opportunity for players to state their cases before teams pare down their rosters to the NFL-mandated 53 by Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

    FILE - In this May 13, 2014, file photo, St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility in St. Louis. Sam and the Rams visit the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, Aug. 28, 2014, the last exhibition for both clubs and the last opportunity for players to state their cases before teams pare down their rosters to the NFL-mandated 53 by Saturday afternoon. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)  (The Associated Press)

The St. Louis Rams have cut Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

The 7th-round draft pick has been outspoken and confident as his progress was watched as closely as any rookie in the league. He has been cheered by athletes and celebrities. In the end, the defensive end couldn't make a team stocked with pass-rushers.

He still can be picked up by another team or make the Rams' practice squad.

The Rams selected the SEC co-defensive player of the year at Missouri with the 249th overall pick out of 256 overall during May's draft. Sam came out as gay following his final season at Missouri.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher was proud to have made the landmark pick, but he made clear from the start that he chose Sam because he thought he had the talent to make it.