Mar 212014

Rodger Saffold originally signed a 5-year, 42.5 million dollar deal with the Raiders, which would have made him the 2nd highest paid left tackle this off-season on a loaded left tackle market, which would have been an atrocity. However, Saffold failed his physical when Raider team doctors (possibly at the behest of an angry Marc Davis, the Raiders owner) said Saffold would need surgery immediately on his shoulder. Leave it to the Raiders to have to be saved from a massive deal by a failed physical.

After that mess was over, Saffold has now ended up signing back with the Rams for 31.7 million over 5 years. He’ll presumably play right guard with the Rams because they have reportedly felt all along that that’s his best position in the NFL. Saffold, a 2010 2nd round pick, has played left tackle, right tackle, and right guard in his career and, while he’s had some success at both left and right tackle, he was borderline dominant in 6 starts at right guard down the stretch for the Rams last season. Injuries are a concern, especially after the failed physical, as he’s missed 17 games over the past 3 seasons combined, but the Rams apparently feel much more comfortable with his shoulder than the Raiders and they desperately need right guard help after cutting Harvey Dahl. They needed offensive line help in general.

31.7 million over 5 years is a lot to pay for a guard. Assuming he will be a guard, he’d be the 10th highest paid guard in the NFL in terms of average salary. He could be a top-10 guard, and one with the versatility to play both tackle positions if necessary. He certainly looked like one down the stretch last season, but that was only in 6 starts and his injury history matters. They may have overpaid a bit, especially after the failed physical in Oakland deflated his market. I don’t know who else would have signed him to this kind of contract. That being said, it’s not a terrible deal. The worst part might be that they guaranteed 19.5 million to someone this injury prone. That’s only 1.5 million less than the Raiders guaranteed.

Grade: B-

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