Rodger-Saffold-closeup

You can’t make this up: Rodger Saffold edition

It was a Wednesday evening in early March and I was spending it like any obsessed Rams fan would be: on Twitter, searching for updates on free agent guard Travelle Wharton, because he might be thinking about retirement, but for gods' sake would be a better option than Davin Joseph, who the Rams were wining and dining at that very moment, and Chris Williams is gone (meh), and am I supposed to be worried that Shelley Smith has interviews all up and down the east coast, and what was the plan oh god the plan what are the Rams going to do? 

In other words, I was obsessing. Had been for hours. And it all started when the Oakland Raiders opened free agency by promising several Brinks trucks to Rodger Saffold, stealing away the Rams' professed "top priority in free agency." 

But then, this: 

First: guh… 

And then: Wait, he's coming back here? Already? 

Now, it shouldn't have surprised anyone, least of all a team that plans to give up 40+ million dollars, that Saffold has been dinged up. He's had concussions, a torn pectoral, a knee, and on his first series as a right tackle this preseason, got out of position and got his shoulder dislocated. But apparently it surprised Mark Davis, owner of the Raiders and proud carrier of the "this franchise is screwed" banner. 

Wait, Saffold still needs surgery? Not according to the Rams he doesn't. 

Jim Thomas has the full story of Saffold's odyssey in Oakland, and it's well worth reading. But it also inadvertently tells a tale of a Raiders franchise reeling with disappointment and disbelief. After finally emerging from post-Al Davis cap hell, after shedding more than $50 million dollars of dead money from their salary cap, the cornerstone of their free agency plan just slipped through their fingers. 

Oh, believe me, I can. Just like I could feel the depression throughout Rams Twitter as our front office whiffed on Saffold, Jairus Byrd, Alterraun Verner, and other key free agent options. Suddenly, that cloud has lifted. 

Now, this isn't to say that all of the Rams' OL problems are solved. Jake Long is still recovering from surgery. Scott Wells is still a rapidly deteriorating anchor at center. And Saffold himself is far from guaranteed to play a full season, even at his new position of guard. 

With that, I don't think this move changes the Rams' draft board. For example, if monstrous Auburn tackle Greg Robinson is your best player available, you run to the podium and draft him. But what this amazing turn of events probably does do is give Les Snead a bit more sand in his britches to be as aggressive as he wants to be on draft day. His McConaughey-esque chin will be held at a jauntier angle as he discusses deals up and down the draft board, knowing that fate, or something, is on his side.  

Or, said another way, "All right, all right, all right." 

Quantcast