The Rams' 2nd-round pick in 2010, Saffold's Rams career got off to a promising start when he dislodged 2009 second pick overall Jason Smith from the starting left tackle job in training camp. After a promising, steady-but-not-spectacular rookie season, Saffold missed 17 games the next three seasons due to a variety of injuries, lost his left tackle job to free agent Jake Long last year, went to right tackle and lost that job to Joseph Barksdale, emerging late in the season as a surprisingly successful guard.
$8 million for Rodger Saffold also officially means it is Funny Money season in the NFL. $8 mil a year for a guy who's missed a full season in the last three seasons! The Raiders are going to trust the blindside of their future at QB to a guy who lost his starting job to Joseph Barksdale! (who used to be a Raider) The NFL definitely inflated the market when it inflated the salary cap by $10 million earlier this month.
That $8 million a year is money the Rams couldn't, and shouldn't have spent on Saffold, but Jake Long's ACL has them over a barrel right now since Barksdale's the only healthy tackle on the roster with any significant playing history. I still don't expect a panic free-agent signing, and their hand still isn't necessarily forced to draft a tackle early. I'd put more urgency now toward re-signing Chris Williams, who's versatile enough to kick out to tackle if the Rams absolutely had to while having a cost nowhere near the Saffold neighborhood.
Saffold has always seemed like a good guy, though; he could have stirred a lot of discontent with his demotion from left tackle to guard last season, but came out and kept playing hard instead. May his luck change that he's able to take the field when the Raiders visit St. Louis in the 2014 season, so Robert Quinn can put a major smoking on him.