NFL Veteran Combine a Great Idea for Player Exposure

The first ever NFL Veteran Combine takes place tomorrow in Arizona at the practice facility of the Cardinals.

This is an excellent way for players to get seen by NFL teams who will arrive to Arizona a few days early before league meetings take place in Phoenix later in the week.

The NFL has invited 100 players to attend the combine although I wish attendance was open to all. Some of the 100 players have never been on an active roster. Other invitees have made an impact at the NFL level such as defensive ends Jamaal Anderson and Adam Carriker, defensive tackle Zach Minter, and running backs Michael Bush, Felix Jones, and Mikel LeShoure.

Much like the NFL Scouting Combine, these players will work out for scouts in hopes of earning a position on an NFL team’s 90 man offseason roster.

While former Heisman trophy winner and starting NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was not invited to the combine, Michael Sam will be there.

On February 27, Sam took to his Twitter account to share his excitement at the opportunity to once again prove himself to NFL teams.

Sam was a consensus All-American and the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year his senior season in 2013. Before the 2014 NFL Combine, Sam announced he was gay. Scouts considered Sam to have a poor combine and labeled him a tweener at the NFL level- too small to play defensive end and too small to play outside linebacker. Sam was drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams, but was cut towards the end of training camp. While Sam did get signed to the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad on September 3, he was cut by October 21 when the Cowboys needed a roster spot for another player.

It is hard not to think NFL teams are afraid to sign Sam because of his sexual preference. Being named defensive player of the year in the SEC is no easy task. I truly believe there is a spot in the NFL for Sam. He will show well at the veteran combine and hopefully get signed to an offseason roster.

And that’s…as I see it!

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