NFL reporter Howard Balzer has been doing some digging and has come across some interesting pieces of information. Balzer cites multiple unnamed sources in support of the notion that, in exchange for the Rams drafting Michael Sam, the league office agreed not to compel the Rams to serve as the focus of the Hard Knocks series in 2014. The league did not want it to appear that Sam wasn’t going to be drafted because of his sexual preference so they allegedly made the deal with the Rams, who were located very close to Sam’s University of Missouri campus.


Balzer’s report invites also speculation as to whether the decision to assign the Rams the Hard Knocks series in 2016 was part of the deal struck to secure approval for the team’s move to Los Angeles. Ditto for the decision to send the Rams all the way to China for a regular-season game in 2018.

Sam for his part didn’t really feed into the report, taking to twitter just to say “I’m not surprised”, which could be looked at as he legit is not surprised if that in fact is true. But Rams coach Jeff Fisher took a much more aggressive stance against the reports.

That in itself is absolutely absurd, it’s 100 percent incorrect. I was really taken aback by those comments. It’s insulting, from my standpoint, as it relates to Michael. We had three seventh-round picks. When we drafted Michael he was the best player on the board. Who in their right mind would think that you give up a draft choice to avoid doing something like that? …

It’s really unfair to Michael. Michael worked so hard. It’s really not fair to Michael because of all the hard work he put in.

This will likely never be able to be proven but at the time of the draft from a football standpoint only, Sam was expected to be picked anywhere from the 5th-7th round, so the fact the Rams took him late in the 7th isn’t really a reach. However, it was also proven over time that he didn’t really have the passion or the talent to handle pro football so at the end of the day, who really knows.