Happy NFL Draft Day!
At some point in the next couple of days, the attention is going to shift from who drafted Johnny Manziel to whether Michael Sam gets drafted at all. The former Missouri defensive lineman, who is in line to be the NFL’s first openly gay player, might not get drafted until Saturday.
But Sam has decided he’s not going to add to the speculation. He has rejected interview requests from ESPN and the NFL Network, who both are televising the draft, which begins at 5 p.m. today.
He also refused to have cameras from the networks follow him as he awaits his fate. He knows if it wasn’t for his sexual orientation, he would be treated like any other fifth- or later-round pick.
He will not add fuel to the discussion and let Mel Kiper Jr. and Mike Mayock lead the debate as to whether Sam can play. He’ll watch things in private, which is probably a smart call on Sam’s part.
■ TEDDY DELIVERS — Quarterback prospect Teddy Bridgewater made a vow to his mother when he was a kid that one day he would buy her a Cadillac.
The Louisville star, who is projected to go late in the NFL Draft’s first round tonight or early in Friday’s second round, made good on his promise, delivering a pink Escalade on Tuesday to his mom, Rose Murphy.
What makes the early Mother’s Day present even nicer is that Bridgewater’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and the disease is in remission. Their family story was recently featured in a documentary produced by Spike Lee and aired on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.
■ UNDER ATTACK — Roger Goodell, the NFL’s bro-hugging commissioner, attempted to reach out to the fans Tuesday via social media, holding a Q&A on Twitter in advance of today’s draft.
All it did was open up an attack on Goodell by angry fans. From player safety to overpriced tickets to personal attacks, Goodell found himself getting hammered.
A small sampling included: “Why are you the devil? Why do you suck at your job? Why did they hire you?” and “When you pushed for an 18-game season while saying the NFL was concerned about head injuries … stupid, corrupt or both?”
And those were some of the nicer questions to #askcommish. And when @JerryVerHaagh asked Goodell: “can I be commish for a day?” Goodell responded with “From seeing some of these #AskCommish tweets, you sure you want to??”
Maybe Goodell has a sense of humor after all.
■ SELLING SEATTLE — Who says there’s no recruiting in the NFL?
The Seattle Seahawks have a brochure they are sending to the agents of all potential undrafted free agents. It highlights the success of receiver Doug Baldwin and seven other members of the Super Bowl champions who went undrafted.
The mission statement reads: “We wholeheartedly believe in competition in all aspects of our program, and the only way to compete is to show it on the field. We’re dedicated to giving all of our players a look to find out who they are and what they’re all about so we can field the best team possible.”
It appears Pete Carroll still can’t get recruiting out of his blood.
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL