Because of their front office stability and experience, some view the Ravens as being an organization suited for linebacker Michael Sam, the University of Missouri draft prospect who is gay. Ravens president Dick Cass agrees with that assessment. Speaking to the team’s website Monday, Cass said Sam would be welcomed into the organization. Sam made his sexual orientation public with an announcement on Sunday.
“I don’t think his being gay would be an issue at all for the Ravens,” Cass told baltimoreravens.com. “We’re all about winning. If he’s a good football player who can help us win games, he will be welcomed here. “I was impressed by the report he received from his teammates and coaches at the University of Missouri. He obviously knows how to be a good teammate.”
Many NFL teams, including the Ravens, reached out to Sam during Senior Bowl week. However, it will be interesting to see which team drafts Sam, and when. That’s assuming Sam is drafted at all. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock feels there is no question Sam merits being drafted off his credentials. Mayock told the Philadelphia Daily News he viewed Sam as a third to fifth-round pick.
“I watched the tape and saw him at the Senior Bowl and had a pretty good feel for him,” Mayock told the Daily News. “I think some teams are going to say, `Hey, I give the kid credit for coming out. I’d like a tough-minded individual like that in my locker room.’ “But I think there will be other teams that are going to look at it and say, ‘Do I want that distraction in my locker room?”’
A pass-rushing linebacker-defensive end like Sam is not the Ravens’ most glaring need. But if Sam was still available the third day of the draft, a perhaps a scenario could materialize where general manager Ozzie Newsome, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, coach John Harbaugh, owner Steve Bisciotti, and Cass could have a long conversation about Sam.
Rest assured, there will be many conversations about Sam in NFL front offices between now and May.
“I’m disappointed it’s such a big issue in 2014,” Cass said.
But according to Cass, Sam being an openly gay player is not an issue that will exclude him from becoming a Raven.