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Monday, February 10, 2014
GM: Sam will be judged like other prospects

By Bill Williamson

The San Francisco 49ers have joined those around the NFL in commending Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam for the courage he displayed when he announced on Sunday he is gay.

Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and is considered a mid-round draft prospect in the May 8-10 draft. Sam could become the first openly gay active NFL player. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke gave the team’s website a statement it tweeted out Monday evening.

"The 49ers commend Michael for the courage he has displayed, as he continues to pursue his NFL career,” Baalke said in the statement. "We have and will continue to evaluate him as we do every draft eligible player, which is always based on their projected contributions to our team on and off the field.”

Sam was teammates with 49ers’ pass-rusher Aldon Smith at Missouri. Scheme wise, he appears to be a fit for the 49ers as a 3-4 outside lineback