Over the weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine, the St. Louis Rams met with the representatives of offensive tackle Rodger Saffold to see where both sides were at in contract negotiations.
Although the Rams did not make an offer to Saffold, it is expected that one will be made soon according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Rams have publicly said that retaining Saffold was going to be a top priority this offseason, and therefore will make a significant effort to retain him.
Whether or not the Rams can retain Saffold will decide a lot of what the Rams plan to do this offseason when it comes to free agency and the the draft
The free agency period officially begins March 11, but teams are able to begin approaching other teams players on March 8. Until then, the Rams will have Saffold all to themselves. It has been reported however, that Saffold gained a lot of interest from other teams at the combine.
With the amount of interest that Saffold is getting, the Rams are going to have to make an offer that significanly interests Saffold and one that he doesn’t think he could get elsewhere.
Les Snead has said that the Rams will not use the franchise tag on Saffold. At this point it is a long-term deal for Saffold, or no deal at all.
“We will try to get Saffold done, just through natural, regular negotiations,” Snead said, via Pro Football Talk.
The Rams may still make a good offer, but it still would not be surprising if Saffold does in fact hit the free agent market to see what he is worth to other teams and then either accept the Rams’ offer or allow them to match another team’s offer.
Les Snead and the Rams will make a good effort at trying to re-sign Saffold, but they certainly will not overpay him. The Rams see Saffold as more of a guard and Saffold wants to be paid like a left tackle. If the Rams and Saffold can’t meet a common ground, and they feel like they can replace him, then the Rams may be forced to let him walk.