Updates from Thursday, March 13
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the details of Saffold's contract with the Rams:
OT Rodger Saffold and Rams reached agreement on 5-yr, $31.7M deal that includes $19.5M gtd. Saffold has option to void deal after 3 years.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2014
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has the latest on why Saffold's deal fell through:
Sources said #Raiders trainers said Saffold's shoulder wouldn't heal properly without surgery, and owner Mark Davis wasn't happy about that— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 13, 2014
Saffold tweeted his thoughts on what was surely a wild couple of days for the Rams linemen:
Fans of #RaiderNation I'm sorry that you had to go thru this loyal fans don't deserve this. I'm thankful and value the support from you all— Rodger Saffold (@Rodger_Saffold) March 13, 2014
To #RamsNation fans I have always appreciated you all and the feedback has been tremendous! I must say I'm excited to be home and fight 4 u!— Rodger Saffold (@Rodger_Saffold) March 13, 2014
Let it be known that I am all in for the Rams! I am excited to play ball here and I'm happy to be home! Let's get a championship #RamsNation— Rodger Saffold (@Rodger_Saffold) March 13, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, March 12
The Raiders won't be seeing Rodger Saffold play in Oakland after all. According to Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune, Saffold failed his physical with the team:
Breaking: Rodger Saffold failed a physical and won't be joining the Raiders. Back to the drawing board .. .— Jerry McDonald (@Jerrymcd) March 13, 2014
Mike Silver of NFL.com spoke with a member of the Raiders about the news:
ESPN's Adam Schefter then reported that Saffold will be returning to his old team, the St. Louis Rams:
After a disagreement in OAK on OT Rodger Saffold's physical condition, he is returning to STL to sign a 5-yr contract with the Rams. Wow.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2014
Raiders had concerns about Saffold's shoulder; Rams had "no concerns whatsoever" about his shoulder, per agent Alan Herman and Jared Fox.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2014
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas notes that Saffold passed his physical with the Rams at the end of the season:
All Rams get exit physicals by the team at the end of the season and Saffold passed his physical.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) March 13, 2014
Silver reported who was behind the voided deal:
According to a Raiders source Mark Davis pulled plug on Saffold deal. Could have had surgery and been ready for training camp. Mark said no— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) March 13, 2014
The Oakland Raiders wanted a new offensive lineman, and they paid handsomely on the free-agent market to accomplish their goal.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the team signed former St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold to a five-year deal:
Former Rams OT Rodger Saffold reached agreement on a 5-yr, $42.5M deal that includes $21M gtd with Raiders.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2014
Saffold was selected with the 33rd overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft and was immediately placed into the Rams' lineup at left tackle. While he struggled at times protecting Sam Bradford's blind side, he performed well at the end of the 2013 season when moved inside to guard.
This strong play seemed to put him out of the Rams' price range. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Saffold's agent Alan Herman explained:
We spoke with [Ram's Vice President of Football Operations] Kevin Demoff numerous times over the weekend. But we're probably going to move in another direction.
Kevin is a good person and a good businessman. He's wonderful to work with in these types of situations. The Rams made a valiant effort. But it's pretty hard to have multiple people making big dollars on the offensive line.
As a result, the Raiders were waiting with open arms to sign the talented offensive lineman.
Of course, not everyone was as supportive, especially with Jared Veldheer expecting to sign elsewhere. Will Brinson of CBS Sports was shocked by the terms of the deal:
That Saffold contract cannot be serious.— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 11, 2014
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus explained earlier in the week that Saffold would not be able to replace Veldheer at tackle:
Roger Saffold is best at guard. If the Raiders think they can plug him at LT in place of Veldheer and be fine they're in for a shock— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 10, 2014
Tony Softli of 101 ESPN reported that Saffold would not be used at tackle:
Source in Oakland Raiders organization confirmed that Saffold will play OG in 2014— Tony Softli (@SoftliSTL) March 11, 2014
If the former Ram plays guard, the Raiders will have to find a replacement for Veldheer, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, according to Schefter.
Saffold should improve the interior of the offensive line for the Raiders, who went 4-12 in 2013. The team will continue making moves in the offseason to upgrade virtually every position.
Brinson reports that Oakland could possibly go after cornerback Darrelle Revis either in a trade or in free agency if he is cut. This would be another big move to help the squad rebuild and get back to the postseason for the first time since 2002.
The Raiders also hold the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, so it's possible they could target a starting tackle with that selection. Auburn's Greg Robinson may be off the board at that point, but Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M would be a logical fit.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.