Updates from Thursday, March 13
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the details of Saffold's contract with the Rams:
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has the latest on why Saffold's deal fell through:
Saffold tweeted his thoughts on what was surely a wild couple of days for the Rams linemen:
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:
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:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas notes that Saffold passed his physical with the Rams at the end of the season:
Silver reported who was behind the voided deal:
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:
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:
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus explained earlier in the week that Saffold would not be able to replace Veldheer at tackle:
Tony Softli of 101 ESPN reported that Saffold would not be used at tackle:
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.
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