On Sunday, Missouri DE Michael Sam announced that he's gay, which could make him the first openly gay player to play in the NFL, assuming he gets into a game next season. Whenever there is big news about a player, whether they're requesting a trade, or they've been cut, or a rare occurrence such as Sam's, the question that will always be asked is, "Could (fill in the local team) have interest in him?"
As far as Sam playing for the Eagles, my best guess would be no, and it has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. We profiled Sam back in October, when he had a share of the NCAA lead in sacks. Below is his game against Florida. I almost feel bad for this poor RT from Florida, who simply has no chance at blocking Sam 1-on-1. This is dominance:
However, as the season wore on, Sam's production slowed up. He had 10 sacks in his first 8 games, but just 1.5 in his last 6. He was also part of Missouri's disastrous defensive effort against Auburn, when Auburn ran for a staggering 545 yards. Sam played a lot of contain in this game (and not very well) against Auburn's run-heavy offense. When Auburn wanted to move Sam, they moved him. If you watch below, Sam is playing LDE when he's in the game. Sam's agent won't be volunteering this game tape.
At the Senior Bowl, Sam was a player of interest to me. Sam lined him up both at DE and LB. He looked good as a pass rusher when he played DE, but looked lost in space as a LB.
Sam's best fit is probably as a situational pass rusher in a 4-3, and those guys can be valuable. However, the Eagles already have a 6'2, 260-ish pound 4-3 DE who can rush the passer, but struggles with everything else. His name is Brandon Graham.
The next major event on the NFL calendar is the Combine in Indianapolis. That will begin on February 22, and run through February 25. The workout schedule is as follows:
• Saturday, Feb. 22: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
• Sunday, Feb. 23: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
• Monday, Feb. 24: Defensive linemen, linebackers
• Tuesday, Feb. 25: Defensive backs
There will be positions of interest to the Eagles every day of the above schedule. Here is the entire list of Combine invites.
Judy Battista of NFL.com has a good article up on Michael Vick and his impending free agency. Within that piece, here's where one NFL executive had Vick rated:
One NFL personnel executive said teams undoubtedly will rate Vick the best of a middling quarterback free-agent market -- one likely to include Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez -- and the exec said he would rate him as a mid-tier starting quarterback, somewhere between 13 and 16. In a league with 32 teams, that's better than half.
I feel bad for the fans of whatever team has an executive who thinks Michael Vick is anything close to the 13th best QB in the NFL.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Eagles have the 10th most cap space in the NFL, at $20,085,737 under the cap. It's crazy to see the Raiders with the most cap space in the NFL, with over $61 million under the cap.
Note the Cowboys' positioning on that list. Jerry Jones, please live to be 150.