Michael Sam among 105 ‘vets’ eyeing that elusive spot in the NFL

Defensive End Michael Sam, from Missouri, runs through a drill during the NFL Super Regional Combine football workout, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz. Rick Scuteri, AP

Defensive End Michael Sam, from Missouri, runs through a drill during the NFL Super Regional Combine football workout, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz.Rick Scuteri, AP

Defensive End Michael Sam, from Missouri, runs through a drill during the NFL Super Regional Combine football workout, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Tempe, Ariz.

TEMPE, Ariz. — The strain and sweat on their faces showed just how much one more chance in the NFL means to Michael Sam and 104 others.

Except for pro days for college players entering the draft, March isn’t usually a time for running sprints and drills before scouts. Then again, these “veterans” will take any opportunity to prove their worth.

“Whoever wants me,” Michael Sam said Sunday when asked about returning to the field for the initial NFL veterans combine. The first openly gay player drafted didn’t make it with the Rams last year, cut at the end of training camp. He landed on the Cowboys’ practice squad for a few weeks, then was released.

“If the Rams or Cowboys want me, I’m on the first flight out,” he said.

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Unlike many of the others on hand, including a variety of former first-round draft picks such as Brady Quinn, Felix Jones, Jamaal Anderson and Adam Carriker, Sam really has a blank NFL resume. But he’s certain he’ll get a shot at a roster spot – and not the “Dancing With The Stars” variety.

“Absolutely, I think my chances are high,” the 25-year-old defensive end said. “As long as I have that will to play the game and I am healthy, you’ll continue to see me trying to play in this league. I am very confident I will be playing football somewhere.”

Sam didn’t rule out Canada, either: “If that’s the opportunity, I’ll take it. I’m a fighter and I’m going to keep fighting.”

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