Oakland Raiders adding Michael Sam makes sense for struggling team

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Sep 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Michael Sam watches warm ups before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sam’s 2014 season hasn’t went as planned in the sense that after helping Missouri get to the SEC Championship Game while winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors the “tweener” pass rusher has found himself cut by two teams since entering the ranks of the NFL. However unlike most promising collegiate players who fade into the back of the spotlight, Sam hasn’t been given a single snap in the regular season to prove himself.

Sam’s problem came as a result of overexposure since coming out as an openly gay athlete, leading to him getting picked apart on a daily basis where his flaws were magnified and general managers became concerned about the harm having the coverage of a once projected mid-round talent would have on their locker rooms. That combined with a relatively poor combine performance justified the decision by many general managers to pass on Sam despite his outstanding senior season where he had 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss. In the end, Sam went to a franchise where he had little chance to crack the 53 man roster in the St. Louis Rams who were already set at the pass rusher position.

Following a strong performance in the preseason, Sam was eventually cut by the Rams, winding up on the Dallas Cowboys roster where he spent time on the practice squad before being cut just a few weeks into his stay. With the Cowboys at 6-1, there was little need for Michael Sam on the team as after some felt Dallas had issues in their front seven the somewhat surprising start from the team showed that wasn’t the case.

Now with Sam free for any team to pick him up the former Mizzou pass rusher is left searching for a team to give him a chance to prove that he can make it in the NFL despite the naysayers. A team also has an opportunity to bring in a player who at one point was considered a mid round talent in the 2014 Draft for no cost at all. Sitting at 0-6 and dealing with the injured Justin Tuck along with fellow struggling veteran LaMarr Woodley, the Oakland Raiders may be wise to be that team. Here are some reasons why: