Should the Panthers Sign Michael Sam?


The Panthers were trying on Stephen Hill at wide receiver after he was cut from the Jets. If you thought Brandon LaFell didn’t drop enough passes, then Stephen Hill is your man. Hill’s tools are unquestionable, but I still remember him getting wide open against North Carolina, having an open path to the end zone, and dropping the pass.

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Trying out Hill reminded of the other cuts from other teams that had occurred and one player who was available. That player was Michael Sam, the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year last year.
Sam was drafted by the Rams for the very same reason that he was cut by them in the final cuts to 53 players. He was a luxury and the Rams decided to see if they could use him. He played a smallish defensive end on a team with plenty of defensive line depth. In the end, the Rams just had too many guys that did what Sam did. They did not sign him to practice squad because they needed help at other positions. So Sam is now a free agent.

So the question comes up, should the Panthers take a flyer on Michael Sam?

Sam is a good college player who outworked his opposition. However he had no particular physical attribute to match that heart to. He was not particularly fast or particularly big. The Panthers, like the Rams, would try to use him as a rush end. The Panthers, also like the Rams, have plenty of bodies at that position this year. They too have needs at offensive line and elsewhere to focus on with their practice squad.

Sam’s best shot is probably on a team that utilizes a 3-4 and play as an outside linebacker. Sam will have to learn how to cover, but he could provide a blitz option for the defensive coordinator who is open minded enough to figure it out. The issue is always going to be whether there are bigger faster players who can do what Sam does.

So, no, the Panthers should not sign Michael Sam. They do not need him and he is not a good system fit.

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