Even though the Michael Sam saga would make a great storyline, and the St. Louis Rams are eligible to be selected based on the new criteria, don’t expect the Hard Knocks cameras to be rolling through their camp.
“I think it’s unlikely,” Jeff Fisher told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. “We are eligible, but I think it’s highly unlikely they’d ask us to do it. I think this organization has a right to go through training camp with some normalcy.”
Fisher probably isn’t speaking in a vacuum. As a longtime member of the NFL’s competition committee, Fisher is highly respected in league circles. The extra attention the Rams will get in training camp with the league’s first openly gay player (Michael Sam) figures to be enough of a distraction without adding the behind-the-scene cameras of the Hard Knocks crew. Even the NFL probably figures that would be piling on.
Fisher also explained why it wasn’t a good idea for Sam to do a documentary with Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network.
Speaking of Sam, Fisher said: “That thing settled down last week. We had a very productive meeting with the network. They understand our position; we understand theirs. We felt, and they collectively felt, the best thing to do was just to postpone it.”
Fisher was referring to the Oprah Winfrey Network, which put its plans for a Sam “docu-series” on ice after meeting last Friday with Fisher, general manager Les Snead, and executive vice president Kevin Demoff.
One of Sam’s agents, Cameron Weiss, attended the meeting, among others.
“The best thing that’s come out of this is that we all see eye to eye, we’re in really good communication, and we’ve established the best path possible for Mike to focus on football and for the Rams to be able to limit distractions,” Weiss said.
Indeed, if Sam is going to be regarded as just another player, he needs to steer clear of the media circus.
As for possible candidates, Jason McIntyre of Big Lead writes Arizona, Chicago and Buffalo are the frontrunners.
I think the Cardinals – with guys like Honey Badger, Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett and even a major project like QB Logan Thomas – are a fascinating team. I’ve already called them a deep Super Bowl sleeper, and it all hinges on QB Carson Palmer. They’re like the Bengals of the NFC, which is, incidentally, where Palmer used to play.