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David Caldwell: NFL should consider sexual preference a moot point forever

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jacksonville Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell laughed in amazement.

For the first time in as long as he can remember, a prospect's sexual orientation is an issue at the NFL scouting combine.

University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced to the world he's gay. He would be the NFL's first openly gay active player.

"I guess it's a bigger story for you guys than it is for us," Caldwell said at the NFL scouting combine. "If he's competitive, and he's committed to working hard, that's all we care about.

"I think 17 or 18 years I've been in the NFL, and sexual orientation's never come up once when discussing a player. I don't think it should ever come up again, to be honest with you."

Sam will be a major story at the combine today, when defensive-line prospects hold their news conferences in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jacksonville's coaches staffed the Senior Bowl last month and had the chance to work with Sam directly.

"As a football player, he's highly competitive," Caldwell said. "He played really hard and went through the whole week [at the Senior Bowl] really good. As far as the later announcement, it's not really an issue for us.

"I'm not even worried about that at all. We're very protective of our culture, and there's no reason he wouldn't fit into our culture."

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