Rodger Saffold, Barksdale Excited to Face Oakland Raiders


Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams guard Rodger Saffold (76) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rodger Saffold was about to be getting paid extremely well in free agency to play for the Oakland Raiders, in the final stages of taking a high priced deal to anchor the Oakland offensive line, Saffold’s contract was voided by the Raiders due to concerns over his shoulder as well as his injury history as the team opted to go with Donald Penn instead as their big offensive line splash.

The move has worked out well for Oakland as Penn is the sixth ranked left tackle in pass protection according to Pro Football Focus, but that doesn’t mean that Saffold forgets that the Raiders ditched him at the altar this spring.

Saffold as well as offensive line teammate Joseph Barksdale, who played for the Raiders before getting cut, are both up for a game on Sunday that pits two teams out of the playoff picture. However based on the duo’s excitement in facing a team that discarded them, you can be assured that there will be some fierce trench battles.

“There’s always going to be something there because a team cut you,” Barksdale said to reporters earlier this week while adding he is trying not to make it too personal in also trying to focus on getting a team win for the Rams after choking in the final seconds against the San Diego Chargers. “But at the same time, I’m trying not to make it personal because it’s not about me, it’s about the team. If I go out and have a great game but we lose, it’s not really going to benefit anybody. So I’m more focused on the team, trying to focus in and win this game.”

Saffold, who never played for the Raiders, is also up for the game after his shoulder injury scared Oakland away from bringing in the offensive lineman.

“I try to stay away from it so I don’t get too antsy before the game but of course my energy and my passion for the game takes over when I’m playing, so who knows what I’m going to say when I’m on the field on Sunday,” Saffold said.

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“All I can say is that just knowing me, knowing the way I play, I’m excited about this game and I can’t wait for Sunday to roll around.”

St. Louis have a decided advantage in the trenches on Sunday on the defensive side of the ball as they have an outstanding front seven, but the likes of Justin Tuck, Sio Moore as well as Khalil Mack will give the Barksdale/Saffold duo plenty to handle. Even if they are motivated, there is a good chance that the Raiders defensive line gives them problems come kickoff in St. Louis. Regardless, it is going to be one hell of a matchup to watch with a motivated offensive line taking on a Raiders defense that is confident after dominating the Chiefs.