Michael Sam Signs $2.65M Rookie Contract With St. Louis Rams
With last week’s signing of a four-year $2.65 million rookie contract with the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam continued to make history as the first openly gay draft pick when he became the first openly gay player to sign an NFL contract, the Huffington Post reports.
"Grateful, humbled, and motivated after officially signing with all my Rams rookie brothers. Let’s do this!! #RamUp," Sam tweeted on June 12, adding an image of himself and teammates.
The Rams revealed Thursday they signed all 11 players selected by the team in the 2014 NFL draft, including Sam, who is the first out athlete to be drafted into the league.
"With the new rookie cap and everything, it’s really not difficult to get the deals done," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "So we just felt like this time would be better served putting them in situations from an educational standpoint, financial planning, those kind of things. We’ve done a lot of that."
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports notes that the All-American defensive lineman from the University of Missouri is guaranteed $46,000 of the contract.
Sam made headlines in February for coming out in an interview with ESPN and the New York Times. He was selected by the Rams with the 249th overall pick earlier this year.
His coming out was a bit bumpy, however, as he drew a number of critics. Soon after he revealed he was gay, anonymous NFL officials came forward and told Sports Illustrated the athlete’s announcement would hurt his chances of being drafted into the NFL even though he had a fantastic season at Missouri and was named the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.
After he was picked up by the Rams, he said in a press conference his teammates "respect me as a human being. And as a football player."