December 2, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (76) talks with fans after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in overtime at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated San Francisco 16-13 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Earth to Rodger Saffold

 

With the signing of all-pro left tackle Jake Long set to anchor the Rams offensive line for the next four years, it is a foregone conclusion that Roger Saffold will slide to the right side.

As we all know, Saffold’s agent said he would be unhappy with a switch to right tackle when St. Louis began to cater to the 4-time Pro-Bowler in the midst of free agency.

Saffold and his agent have not requested a trade, but the disgruntled tackle has made it very clear that he does not approve of the move by taking a vow of silence. Since the Rams have inked their prized free agent, officials from the Rams organization have been unable to contact the incumbent starter.

In an article by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, here is a quote from Jeff Fisher:

“We’ve been trying to reach Rodger, and he’s not returning calls right now,” Fisher said. “But we’ll get things settled, and Rodger’s a big part of our future and a big part of our plans on offense.”

I understand why Saffold is upset. Left tackles are widely considered a premier position in the NFL. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, he could almost reach out and grab free agency. He wants the money that a top-end LT could earn, especially at the young age of 24. Saffold has proven he is more than capable of protecting Sam Bradford’s blind side when healthy.

Long went through a lengthy physical in St. Louis because of his recent run-ins with injuries, but like Long, Saffold too has experienced quite a few injuries.

During his three year tender in a Rams uniform, Saffold has only played one full season:

Career Offensive Line Stats

Year Team

G

GS

Pen

Yds

False Start

Holding

Sacks Allwd

Yds

2010 StL

16

16

8

50

6

2

3.50

15.00

2011 StL

9

9

9

56

6

3

9.00

53.00

2012 StL

10

10

8

50

4

2

2.50

5.50

Totals

35

35

25

156

16

7

15.00

73.50

 

It would be easy to call Saffold selfish, not a team player and spoiled as he secludes himself on another planet. If Saffold does ask for a trade or release, it would equal more draft picks or grabbing a more talented player in a deep and versatile offensive tackle class.

Perhaps a mauler like Alabama RT D.J. Fluker. The Rams have already had pre-draft visits from guard/tackle Kyle Long (Oregon) and OT Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluf

Hopefully, the sulky left tackle does return, if not, trust Jeff Fisher and Les Snead to make the right move.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Jake Long Rodger Saffold

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