Morning Links: Sam a fit for Chargers?

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
10:35
AM ET
The agent for Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam, who recently shared that he is gay, says his client would be a good fit for the San Diego Chargers.

In an interview with Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletics, the agency that represents Sam, said the way the Chargers handled the Manti Te’o situation last season demonstrates that the organization could deal with the media attention that would be generated in selecting a player such as Sam in this year’s draft.

From strictly a football perspective, Sam also could make some sense for the Chargers. Veteran edge rushers Dwight Freeney, Thomas Keiser and Larry English have contracts that expire at the end of the 2014 season, so the Chargers need to draft a developmental prospect.

Sam was productive at Missouri rushing the passer but has to show that he can play in space as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He’s a possible middle-rounds selection for the Chargers.

The Chargers have a veteran locker room. Players such as Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Antonio Gates, Nick Hardwick and Jarret Johnson could help ease the transition for Sam.

However, this team also finished eight quarters from making the Super Bowl and might not want to deal with the media distraction of having an openly gay teammate in the locker room.

Chargers linebacker Thomas Keiser pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge, stemming from a Dec. 29 altercation with a bar employee.

Football Outsiders selects Keenan Allen as the 2013 offensive rookie of the year. Ken Whisenhunt gets the nod for coordinator of the year.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has San Diego selecting Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson in his latest mock draft.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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