Michael Sam hopes to make National Football League return in 2016

Mar 22 2015 Tempe AZ USA Defensive end Michael Sam participates in drills during the NFL Veteran Combine at the Arizona Cardinals training facility. Mandatory Credit Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT USATSI-222948 ORIG FILE ID 201503

Michael Sam could very well still be playing in the NFL had he not come out as gay, the former St. Louis Ram told sportscaster Dan Patrick on Friday.

If Sam is able to somehow make it back to the league and actually secure a roster spot next season, it would make for a great (and historic) comeback story. But in Michael Sam's case, it's unclear whether those moves are an act of desperation, an excessive backlash over a disappointing run of events, or just the natural consequences of a career that isn't living up to his expectations.

Michael Sam says he's focusing on post-football right now and is studying at Missouri. He then signed with the Montreal Alouettes, but quit the team in August citing his mental health.

Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American in his senior season at Missouri, tallying 11.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. I left with some personal issues the first time.

But some reporters were aware of his sexuality, and Sam feared they would break the news, which he wanted to do on his own terms, he said. "I've just come to a conclusion, as I take this break from football, I want to focus on my media training, just try to get into broadcasting and commentating".

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

"I was dealing with a lot of stuff ... a lot of stuff was on my mind", Sam told Patrick.

Sam revealed other changes in his life, including working on his master's degree and also letting people go from his life.


Sam said that seeing himself in the media so often made him want to be a part of it. "I wanted to wet my feet a little bit and see if this could be a career of mine in the future". He said he recently let go of his agents and publicist so he can focus on his media training and continue to pursue an NFL career.