Michael Sam, Felix Jones, Michael Bush at vets combine

Posted: Updated:
By Barry Wilner, AP Sports

Michael Sam is among more than 100 players invited to the first NFL veterans' combine, set for March 22 at the Arizona Cardinals' practice facility.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was cut by St. Louis at the end of training camp last year. He then joined the Dallas practice squad before being released.

The defensive end from Missouri has said he wants to continue his football career. He currently is a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars."

Among other players invited are running backs Felix Jones and Michael Bush, and defensive ends Jamaal Anderson and Adam Carriker.

"Combines have long provided draft-eligible players with the forum needed to showcase their skills to NFL teams," said Matt Birk, the NFL's director of football development. "The NFL veteran combine will give veteran free agents a similar opportunity to work out in front of club personnel in a streamlined process."

The idea is to consolidate free agent veterans' tryouts in one location. Holding the combine on the weekend of the owners' meetings, when many team personnel will be in Phoenix anyway, should add to the convenience.

Players who have been sidelined by lengthy recoveries from injuries will be joined by veterans who have been released and even some who have played in other leagues.

Unlike Sam, a seventh-round selection in 2014, Jones, Anderson and Carriker all were first-round picks. Jones went 22nd to Dallas in 2008 and led the league with a 5.9-yard rushing average in 2009. He last played for Pittsburgh in 2013.

Anderson, the eighth overall choice in 2007 by Atlanta, last played in the league in 2012. Same for Carriker, the 13th pick by St. Louis in 2007.