Cameron Weiss, Agent for Michael Sam: "I've Been Positively Surprised"
As we've come to learn in the last five days, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam has been and will be a game changer in several ways.
Photo by Marcus Qwertyus Michael Sam
In the most conventional football fashion, Sam was a game changer on the field as his 11.5 sacks led the SEC in 2014. The final image he left on the college game was a strip sack and forced fumble that teammate Shane Ray returned for a game sealing touchdown in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State.
Off the field, Sam broke new ground on Sunday night, announcing to the world that he is a homosexual, making him the first openly gay athlete to play in the NFL (assuming he makes a roster, which seems to be a formality, although opinions on his stock widely vary). This, presumably, will pave the way for other gay athletes to do the same.
That's the idea, at least.
Those are indeed the big picture ways in which Michael Sam is a game changer, but let's not forget about how his profile effects those around him, his family and his business associates.
For example, the agency with whom Sam has chosen to cast his lot, Empire Athletics, is now playing on a bigger stage. If you peruse their client list, it is dotted with largely former NFL practice squad players and small college dreamers. Now, all of a sudden, they have an SEC Defensive Player of the Year who is the most talked about athlete in the country over the last six days.
In the agency business, a signing like Sam, along with a successful execution of a career launch with so many layers, this is how Empire Athletes truly becomes, well, an empire.
To that end, Rich Lord and I interviewed Cameron Weiss, one of Sam's agents from Empire, earlier this week on our radio show, and we discussed Sam's first few days post announcement, the wild fluctuations in draft stock, and where the ideal landing spots might be for his client.
Here are the most notable excerpts from Weiss: