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Thread: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

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    Rambos's Avatar
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    How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    By Jim Thomas

    ST. LOUIS—If the guard situation gets any crazier in St. Louis, it will have the makings of a must-see reality series.

    The Rams regained a key starter after the Raiders bailed on Rodger Saffold.

    Rodger Saffold was in town. His agents were in town. The Oakland Raiders had even flown in Saffold's parents to witness him signing his five-year, $42.5 million free-agent contact. Exciting times.

    Then at about 3 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday, Saffold agents Alan Herman and Jared Fox received a call from the Raiders.

    "They said, we have a problem. Rodger failed his physical. There's something wrong with his shoulder. What did you know about that?" Herman told the Post-Dispatch.

    To say that Herman and Fox were taken aback would be supreme understatement.

    Saffold had suffered a dislocated shoulder early in the Rams' August 8 preseason opener in Cleveland. He missed the second preseason game because of the injury but was back in action for the team's final two preseason games and on into the 2013 regular season.

    "We had him examined prior to the start of the season," Herman said. "And he was fine. The Rams physicians thought he was fine, and he played and he played great."

    All Rams players undergo exit physicals at the end of the season, and Saffold passed that physical as well.

    Fast forward to the present and the trip to Oakland to sign the contract. All NFL contract agreements are pending the results of a physical, and Saffold thought he had passed the physical.

    "Rodger told us that the Raiders' doctor examined him and said, 'You're fine,' " Herman said.

    Then came Wednesday's meeting.

    "(The Raiders) said, 'We think he needs immediate surgery to correct his shoulder,' " Herman said.

    Saffold had left the Rams on good terms, and Herman offered to get executive vice president Kevin Demoff on the phone to help clarify matters. Herman said he called a specialist he uses for his clients and double-checked the medical records and MRI results on Saffold's shoulder. The specialist gave Herman the OK on Saffold's shoulder.

    Herman said Demoff got in touch with him on more than one occasion Wednesday to tell him Saffold's shoulder was fine.

    All of which was to no avail, apparently, as far as the Raiders were concerned. After an initial meeting with Raiders officials, a meeting that Herman said included the team's chief financial officer, and an attorney representing the team, among others, Herman and Fox than met with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie before they left the building.

    "He apologized profusely," Herman said of McKenzie. "I shared my displeasure in very strong terms. Jared and I were sitting there in disbelief. We got out of the building and we got back to the hotel."

    The Rams hadn't gone down easily last Sunday after learning Saffold was signing elsewhere. Herman said that coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Snead, and even linebacker James Laurinaitis had called Saffold to try to get him to change his mind.

    After it all unraveled in Oakland, the Rams moved in to fill the void Wednesday night.

    "We put together a deal that would be more than satisfactory to Rodger," Herman said. "And now all we want to do is finish it."

    As Herman spoke in a phone interview, he and Fox were heading for the airport at about midnight Central time to fly back to St. Louis.

    Saffold and his parents were scheduled to fly to St. Louis early Thursday morning, with Demoff himself making the flight arrangements Wednesday night according to Herman.

    Herman was confident a contract would be signed by sometime Thursday afternoon.

    "For the most part it's done," Herman said. "We've just got to iron out a few of the incentives that we're working on. But we basically have the framework of the deal.

    "I don't want to release the framework now only because after going through this I just would like to get there (in St. Louis) and make sure we understand what we've talked about. . . .This is one of the craziest stories ever."

    Herman then succinctly summed the bizarre events of the past several days: "We said goodbye to Tampa and hello to Oakland."

    (Tampa Bay had also seriously pursued Saffold over the weekend.)

    "And we said goodbye to St. Louis, too," Herman said. "St. Louis didn't want to accept goodbye, so here we are coming back."
    Last edited by Rambos; -03-13-2014 at 11:25 AM.


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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    So basically the Rams tried to be helpful to Rodger and his new team in telling them they had checked Rodger out and he was ok, but the Raiders were dead set on getting out of the contract.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    If I'm an agent, the Raiders just made themselves extra questionable as a negotiator. An offer by the Raiders is valued slightly less than face value compared to other teams because of this action.

    Every job has a factor of self preservation involved in decision making. If the Raiders and any other team are offering equal contracts, the Raiders will be valued less because we can't trust their word.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    WHAT??? You can't trust the Raiders? What next? The sun will rise in the east?
    gap and citr92 like this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    I really feel sorry for Saffold in this whole thing. I can't blame him for trying to sign in Oakland, the money they were offering would take care of him for the rest of his life.

    Either way, I'm glad he's back. I also think this really shows the type of leadership we have with the Rams. Not only did they leave on good terms, hey tried to help him get signed elsewhere (by letting their team call our doctors). And when it didn't work out, they welcomed him back with open arms instead of casting him off since he tested the waters.
    RealRam and Randart like this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    If the Rams had moved on and used too much cap Saffold could have been screwed over by the Raiders. They took him out of the market during the first two days for the most part and that is when all the big money is spent. If I was a player I would think twice about going to the Raiders. There is no way the Rams would sign him if he was not healthy, look at what they did to J Long last year before spending the cash.
    sosa39rams likes this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    Ooooookie, something smells here, a smell one finds in a cow pasture....is it OK to call out BS at this point? There is a lot more then a doctor poking and prodding, there are MRIs, X-rays and Ultra Sounds these days. I can't believe that none of those where done during the course of the last season.

    I think the Raiders just had a terminal case of buyers remorse...but then again I wouldn't have signed Saffold at $42Mill even on a dare. Perhaps the smartest thing the Raiders have done all year was to back out. Sadly for that organization, its likely to be the last smart thing they do this year. Glad I am not a Raider fan. Doubtful it will bite the Raiders though; still it does put a question in the minds of players thinking about signing with their team. The Raiders need to go out and buy a lot of lipstick to pretty up this pig--its not the kind of PR they want or need with players around the league
    RamFan_Til_I_Die likes this.

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    MACD is offline Registered User
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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    If nothing else, THANK YOU OAKLAND for keeping the spicey in the off-season!

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    The only thing the Raiders can do at this point is sell the team. I used to Love the raiders, Raiders and Rams, Rams of course being my first Love. But Al Davis made me hate the Raiders. His son isn't fairing any better.

    Selling the team or major shares to a new leader is the only solution to fix this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    The only thing the Raiders can do at this point is sell the team. I used to Love the raiders, Raiders and Rams, Rams of course being my first Love. But Al Davis made me hate the Raiders. His son isn't fairing any better.

    Selling the team or major shares to a new leader is the only solution to fix this.
    Not a Fan of Al Davis 2.0?

    Notice how when owners meddle in football matters its seldom a good out come? Dallas/Washington/Raiders come to mind. I myself know a lot about football, but not nearly enough to run a NFL team, and if I owned one, at least I know enough to let someone else who is better qualified to take care of it. It just comes down to knowing who to put in charge of the organization. Teams like the Steelers prove the point.

    However, if Jerry Jones where not there, I'd miss seeing the dejected look after his team implodes after yet another epic fail. Someone should make a Youtube clip of Jerry's Jones "Fail" bet it has a million hits especially for an hour long clip
    Randart likes this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    The only thing the Raiders can do at this point is sell the team. I used to Love the raiders, Raiders and Rams, Rams of course being my first Love. But Al Davis made me hate the Raiders. His son isn't fairing any better.

    Selling the team or major shares to a new leader is the only solution to fix this.
    Pretty much. The Raiders are the laughing stock of this league due to its very questionable decision making in the past and this just makes it worst. Like how they traded a 1st rounder for Carson Palmer a couple years ago and he isn't even on the raiders anymore. Classic example of how a GM can ruin a team.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    Raiders play second fiddle in Bay Area to Whiners. Wonder why........

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    The only thing the Raiders can do at this point is sell the team. I used to Love the raiders, Raiders and Rams, Rams of course being my first Love. But Al Davis made me hate the Raiders. His son isn't fairing any better.

    Selling the team or major shares to a new leader is the only solution to fix this.

    They could hire Matt Millen!
    jjigga3000, bustin_figs and gap like this.

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    While the Radiers have significant cap space, what I think they lack is cash. I think they realized they couldn't pay what they needed to pay up front. I think this is a team in significant financial trouble.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

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    Re: How things went awry for Saffold in Oakland

    It's fashionable to rip the Raiders here. When you lord your "Commitment to Excellence" and "Pride and Poise" mantras over the rest of the NFL, you'd better damn well back it up or you'll be viewed as a laughingstock. And the Raiders deserve all the criticism handed to them given their cluelessness over the past decade. But what if they're right? Rodger better indeed be healthy- especially since we now just paid a pretty good chunk of change for a guy we hadn't originally intended to keep- which is why he left in the first place.

    And call me na´ve, but I don't see a physician in today's NFL climate faking a medical diagnosis to get his team off the hook financially- not in light of the billion dollar lawsuit surrounding concussions and the heightened sensitivity involving player welfare.

    I trust the Rams' brass here, but we'd better be right.

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