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Rams release Michael Sam

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The Sports Xchange

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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Rookie defensive end Michael Sam was released by the St. Louis Rams in their final roster cuts Saturday afternoon.

Sam, the 2013 Southeastern Conference co-Defensive Player of the Year, was one of 10 defensive linemen on the final bubble as the Rams contemplated the makeup of their final 53-man roster.

Sam goes on waivers and can be claimed by any team. If he clears waivers, he is a candidate to join the Rams' 10-player practice squad. Official practice squad transactions can be made Sunday.

When St. Louis released 17 players late Friday and Sam was still around -- leaving the Rams with four players to cut -- many believed the Missouri product was safely on the regular-season roster.

But Sam was released right at the NFL's official deadlilne of 3p.m. Saturday.

A seventh-round pick of the Rams, Sam made national headlines in February when he announced he was gay. He became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL and sparked discussion about locker-room and professional sport tolerance and acceptance.

Sam said in February when he met a large group of media at the NFL Scouting Combine that he didn't mind being a pioneer, but wanted to be seen as a football player.

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