Free agent guard/tackle Rodger Saffold signed a monster five-year, $42.5 million contract ($21.6 million guaranteed) with the Oakland Raiders on Tuesday, but his tenure with the team never technically got a chance to begin.
On Wednesday night it was announced that Saffold failed his physical and will not be signing with Oakland. Now reports suggest Saffold will return to the St. Louis Rams, where he spent the first three years of his career. The Rams have reportedly given him a five-year deal.
The 25-year-old has had plenty of injury issues during his first three NFL seasons with the Rams. Saffold has missed 17 games during his career thanks to a litany of ailments and hasn’t looked fully healthy in a while.
When Saffold originally agreed to the deal eyebrows were raised all around the league. That was a lot of money for a guy who is more versatile than he is good. The Raiders claimed the Indiana product was slated to play guard and not tackle.
There was apparently a problem with Saffold’s shoulder that the Raiders were concerned with. The Rams had no such qualms about the injury.
The Raiders are currently in serious trouble. They gave Saffold a huge contract because they obviously loved his potential. But by signing him, Oakland allowed a solid, in-house player to walk, as Jared Veldheer bolted to join the Arizona Cardinals.
With the first two days of free agency over and most of the top talent already signed, the Raiders are stuck looking for someone to plug gaping holes along their already suspect offensive line.
There are no positives from this situation for Oakland, but the opposite is true for fans of schadenfreude.