September 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (76) is checked out by a trainer after being injured on a play against the Washington Redskins during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Let's Put the Rodger Saffold Incident to Rest


I know that Raider Nation loves a bit of drama in the off-season, and the Oakland Raiders didn’t disappoint in the NFL free agency frenzy.  Offensive Tackle Rodger Saffold was pulled in off the waiver wire on March 11, only to be turned out to pasture a day later.  Rumors of discontent between Oakland Raiders Owner Mark Davis and General Manager Reggie McKenzie swirled around the tight-lipped ship known as the Oakland Raiders Headquarters in Alameda, CA.  The reason, Saffold didn’t pass the Raiders physical.  Shortly after the news broke about his release, Saffold was quickly scooped up by the St. Louis Rams.  This, of course, added fuel to the media fire that ensued after the Raiders released Saffold.

I’ll be remiss if I didn’t admit that this piece of news bothered me at first.  However, I took a silent stance on it and waited to hear more of the truth that was the Saffold incident.  First and foremost, Offensive Tackle Rodger Saffold injured his shoulder in the Pre-season of 2013 (Dislocation).  Still, he played through the injury over the entire 2013 season.  So what’s the issue?  The issue is, Saffold has an underlying injury to his Labrum that was suffered in his college football days.  This was the injury that may have had the Raiders putting up the road block signs.

Saffold planned to have surgery on his shoulder this season to repair the torn Labrum, and it was reported that the recovery would take an estimated 3-5 months.  With OTA’s around the corner in May and June, and training camp beginning in July, the Oakland Raiders did not want to put their 42.5 million dollars up to chance.  When players don’t pass a teams physical, contractual agreements that were signed in the blind can be voided.  It is an everyday happening in the NFL, just not as publicized as other things unless it involves the Oakland Raiders and a big contract in free agency.

Now, the St. Louis Rams scooped Saffold right up after the Raiders dropped him, but their contract with Saffold is contingent upon his being able to play.  If he cannot fulfill his contractual agreement with the Rams, they can let him go and get back guaranteed money.  A move the Raiders were not willing to make.  I, for one, trust in the fact that the Raiders didn’t take on a player who is plagued with injury.  For all the numbers people/fans out there, Saffold has missed 17 regular season games in the last 3 years due to injury while being a member of the Rams.  That’s an average of 5.8 games per season.  If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is.

Don’t worry Raiders fans, Reggie McKenzie does have a plan, and he is trying to execute it.  He’s not going to please everybody, but I believe that he will make it work this year.  It will get better Raider Nation.  Trust in your Raiders.  So let’s put this stupid, deplorable, ignoramus, and utterly overly examined incident to rest.  Goodbye Rodger Saffold, best of luck to you in St. Louis.

Next Raiders Game View full schedule »
Sunday, Sep 77 Sep1:00at New York JetsBuy Tickets
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Mark Davis Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie Rodger Saffold St. Louis Rams

  • KloverJane

    Great point Shane. Like your objective approach. This potential signing didn’t really bother me or when it “fell through” either. I figured he wouldn’t really replace Veldeer, but move back to guard anyway. Now the lack of negotiations with Veldeer and his eventual loss really burned me. I took it personally. Al really believed in that guy as a Raider. I still do. I might come to grips with it when we announce who starts at that position. Free agent stud, draftee, or promotion within. Regardless, I want our fantasy QB under center, with time to go through his reads. The autumn wind cometh…

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Thank you for your comments. More than likely I see the offensive line shaping up this way, currently: Austin Howard at RT, Mike Brisiel at RG, Wis at C, LG is up in the air for grabs between Barnes, Bergstrom, Parsons, Nix and whoever we draft, and LT should be Menelik Watson (2nd Rounder from 2013 NFL Draft). It’s his time to step up. Of course, Brisiel as been banged up, and he could lose out to Barnes, Parsons, or Nix as well. It all depends on the draft. Veldheer was a tough loss to take, but it was apparent that Veldheer didn’t want to continue with the Raiders. He took less money to go to Arizona. That tells me he wanted out. I wish him the best in his career, too bad it will be as Cardinal.

  • Don

    I know business is business but he said he wanted to be a Raider for life. It’s obvious that was BS, can’t wait to see Valdeer and Palmer get ran over this season!

  • Ya_D_Got_Raided

    I wish reggie could shoot for alex mack and move wiz back to gaurd, then I’d feel more at ease going into the season.

  • Travis Myers

    I think your argument begs the question of why the guy was even pursued in the first place? The Rams obviously did not have faith in him as a LT which is why they brought in J.Long. Yet RMAC was ready to pay him more than Long. That is the part I don’t get. They low balled Veldheer and overpaid Saffold. It’s not like his injury history was a secret. And the versatility argument was a bunch of BS, you don’t pay a guy LT money and then move him around the o-line. McKenzie got lucky with the mulligan and has actually rebounded nicely but even the most die hard fan has to realize that was a major gaff on his part.

  • JoeSchmoo

    Great article. Learned some interesting behind the scenes facts. Not heard much about McCants and Pashos, both OTs played well last season. Any news on their status?

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Yes indeed, I agree with the play of both McCants and Pashos. Pashos is an Unrestricted Free Agent and McCants is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent. I believe that it would be in the Raiders best interest to sign both players back again and let them compete in training camp. However, no news on either player just yet. Still early in free agency though.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Not a bad idea, and maybe RMac will surprise us all and do this. I know that Wiz has no problem switching to guard, and he plays that position very well.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Major gaff! I love it, LOL. Plain and simple, this move should have never happened. Now the Raiders are scrambling to get a LT. Donald Penn would be the best option out there in my opinion, and we had a visit with him. I just hope the Raiders will match the best offer he is going to be given. He is a Cali kid, so hopefully he wants a homecoming of sorts.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    The Cardinals will be playing Seattle twice and San Francisco twice within their division. Both teams have stellar defensive lines, and they will definitely challenge Veldheer. We’ll see how often Carson Palmer gets dropped, and we will see if losing JV was worth it or not.

  • Eric Torres

    He was given a low ball offer by the team, one of the parties wasn’t sold on the other, meaning Veld wanted to stay, Raiders weren’t really interested, thanks for playing though…

  • Don

    AFC West is playing NFC West this season

  • Mark Shafer

    I think this whole

  • Shane Schilperoort

    That’s right. Ought to be an interesting game then.