National Football League roundup

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 08, 2015 7:52 PM

(The Sports Xchange) - Michael Sam, who made headlines last year as the first openly gay NFL player, has applied for a spot in the league's first-ever veteran combine.

The NFL announced in January that it would hold a combine for players with league experience on March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals' training complex.

Sam was drafted in the seventh round last May by the St. Louis Rams but failed to make their 53-man roster. He was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and added to their practice squad before being released after seven weeks.

Monday marks the one-year anniversary of Sam's landmark announcement that he is gay and wants to play in the NFL.

Sam, 25, has not received another NFL contract offer, even though rosters expand to 90 in the offseason.

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Quarterback Brian Hoyer will be watching with interest as the NFL's text-message investigation involving the Cleveland Browns' front office unfolds.

According to reports, Browns general manager Ray Farmer could face a suspension and the Browns might lose a draft pick as possible sanctions if the NFL determines that Farmer sent text messages to quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains in the press box during games last season, which violates NFL rules.

Hoyer is scheduled to become a free agent in March and said he was open to returning to the Browns. But he said the results of the investigation could affect his decision.

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The St. Louis Rams are hoping to restructure the contract of quarterback Sam Bradford, who is scheduled to make $12.98 million in base salary in 2015.

Bradford tore his ACL on Aug. 23 for the second straight year and missed the entire season. In his five years with the Rams, he was paid $65 million and still has one season left on his contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Rams could reduce Bradford's base salary "while potentially putting in incentives that could allow Bradford to recoup much of that money."

Head coach Jeff Fisher said after the season that Bradford will have competition for the starting quarterback job.

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The New Orleans Saints already have a running backs coach but reported the team has hired University of Arkansas running backs coach Joel Thomas to be the Saints' new running back coach.

The Saints have not announced the hiring of Thomas, so it remains to be seen what will happen with current Saints running backs coach Dan Roushar.

(Editing by Gene Cherry)