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Thread: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

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    No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    By Jim Thomas

    No, Rodger Saffold isn’t happy about his impending switch to right tackle for the Rams. But those close to Saffold insist he won’t be a malcontent and won’t be a holdout.

    Saffold will participate in the Rams’ official offseason conditioning program, which starts Monday, although technically participation is “voluntary.” And as long as he’s a Ram, he’ll be there for minicamps, OTAs, training camp and the preseason.

    He will do what he has to do to protect his contract, which means playing out the 2013 season to the best of his ability under the last year of the contract he signed as a second-round draft choice out of Indiana University in 2010.

    It’s unclear if Saffold has formally requested a trade from the Rams. But at the very least, Saffold’s representatives have let the Rams know that Saffold wouldn’t be opposed to a trade, according to league sources.

    At the moment, however, the Rams have all the leverage and Saffold has none. If the Rams have no desire to trade Saffold, he has no option but to play out the 2013 season and finish out his contract. And that could very well be how things end up.

    Long before the Rams brought in free-agent left tackle Jake Long for a visit and ultimately signed him, the Rams have consistently indicated that re-signing Saffold was a priority. They like him as a player, and like how he played down the stretch last season.

    But business is business, and when the Rams saw an opportunity to add a four-time Pro Bowler (Long) to help protect quarterback Sam Bradford, they leaped at the chance. Those close to Saffold said he felt blindsided by the news that Long, the former Miami Dolphin, was visiting St. Louis. Saffold didn’t know about the visit until Long had arrived in St. Louis for his visit.

    Saffold knew he would be switched to the right side if Long signed with the Rams. Long, of course, ended up signing a four-year, $34 million contract. So barring injury, Saffold will not have the opportunity to play the position of his choice in 2013.

    Early indications from the Rams are that they are not interested in trading Saffold. Interestingly, the Rams have had visits or have visits scheduled with three draft prospects that play offensive tackle: Alabama’s D.J. Fluker was in last week, Florida State’s Menelik Watson was in Tuesday and Virginia’s Oday Aboushi has an upcoming visit.

    All three are projected as right tackles.

    If the Rams drafted any of those three, would that make them more likely to trade Saffold? Almost all of the top free agents at tackle are off the market. That leaves a half-dozen or so NFL teams possibly looking for help at left tackle: Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans and San Diego. Once the top three or four tackles are gone in the draft, there may be a couple of teams still looking for help as the first round winds done.

    Assuming the Rams take Fluker or even Watson at No. 22 overall, they could then seek to trade Saffold after making that pick, potentially getting a pick or picks in return in this draft that could help the team this year. That’s a scenario to think about on the first day of the draft – April 25.

    What could the Rams get for Saffold? A third-rounder is probably optimistic considering Saffold has just a year left on his contract. Maybe a fourth-rounder.

    If not and Saffold stays, the Rams could have the makings of a formidable offensive line in 2013 with Long at left tackle, Scott Wells at center, Harvey Dahl at right guard, Saffold at right tackle and a starter to be named at left guard.

    Saffold has preferred to lay low on the subject. He has done no interviews since one of his agents – Alan Herman – first told the Post-Dispatch about Saffold’s unhappiness over the switch nearly a month ago.

    DRAFT VISITS

    Joining Watson as pre-draft visitors to Rams Park on Tuesday were linebackers Arthur Brown of Kansas State and Gerald Hodges of Penn State, as well as running back Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina. That brings to 21 the number of so-called “top 30” visits for the Rams this draft season.

    Lattimore may have been the top running back prospect in the draft were it not for a severe knee injury suffered last season against Tennessee. It’s questionable whether Lattimore will be healthy enough to play at the start of the season, and he may not get drafted until the middle rounds.


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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Unless some team is willing to reach for Saffold and give us a very high pick, I think we should stick with him. I hear that Saints HC is losing sleep over not having a LT so maybe they are desperate enough to do something like that and they are probably in a win now mode, Brees is not getting any younger and they have to be good to follow the Falcons.

    I think keeping him can have a twofold benefit that probably outweighs the benefits of getting a late draft pick. Firstly, we need to have a security blanket in place if Long is really injury prone…. In that case, we can move Saffold back to LT and he will do ok, thereby not jeopardizing our season…. Secondly, it would give us one year to groom a rookie RT into playing form or give us the chance the pick up a veteran RT next year where we hope fully have some cap room to work with.

    I think these two factors combined with the fact that Saffold is playing for a new contract (somewhere) he will probably do his best to perform very well. Trading him would just leave us with another rookie and a hole in the o-line.

    Although we are rebuilding the team, we also need to keep winning games to build up the self-esteem and create a scenario where we can find out if Bradford is for real or not. Giving him the best possible o-line for the next year could help us with both. To me the best possible o-line has long on the left side and Saffold the right (and hopefully Warmack alsoJ).

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Welcome to the big leagues, Rodger. When a team has an opportunity to acquire a top player like Long, you put your ego aside and be a team player. It's not like they're asking him to move to safety, for crying out loud. Like the article says, the Rams have all the leverage here and Rodger has none. Go out and play hard and be a part of a successful season.
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    The Rams may have felt re-signing Saffold was a priority at one point, but the Long contract combined with the team's interest in first and second round caliber offensive linemen seems to suggest they're preparing for a future without him. Regardless, it's nice to hear that, even if he isn't happy, he isn't planning on holding out.
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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    I guess Saffold knows that he isn't in a position to be a prima donna, it's not as if he's been an all-pro caliber LT. If the Rams do trade him, I think it would happen on draft day, to a team that missed on getting a LT, or future LT.
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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    This is a bussiness decision for him, he don't care about winning there is more money to be made at LT and he knows his move back to RT will hurt him come FA next year.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    No, Rodger Saffold isn’t happy about his impending switch to right tackle for the Rams. But those close to Saffold insist he won’t be a malcontent and won’t be a holdout.
    OBJECTION. Lack of foundation, hearsay.

    Sustained.

    Saffold’s representatives have let the Rams know that Saffold wouldn’t be opposed to a trade, according to league sources.
    OBJECTION. Lack of foundation, hearsay.

    Sustained.

    Those close to Saffold said he felt blindsided by the news that Long, the former Miami Dolphin, was visiting St. Louis.
    OBJECTION. Lack of foundation, hearsay.

    Sustained.

    Early indications from the Rams are that they are not interested in trading Saffold.
    OBJECTION. Lack of foundation, hearsay.

    Sustained.

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    This is a business decision for him, he don't care about winning there is more money to be made at LT and he knows his move back to RT will hurt him come FA next year.
    Not necessarily. There is plenty of film of Rodger at the LT position for coaches in need of a left tackle to evaluate. The Rams pulled the trigger on what they perceived to be an opportunity to upgrade the LT position. Barring injury issues, they appear to have succeeded. Whether Rodger hits the FA market next year, or is traded to another team, I am sure his agent will make clear Rodger's desire to remain at LT, it isn't as if he stinks as a left tackle.

    By accepting the position move albeit reluctantly, I don't see it hurting his chances to play LT for another team. In fact if he plays well at RT, he will demonstrate his versatility. If Saffold plays well along with the rest of the team, it should translate into a winning season thus making him more desirable as a FA acquistion for another team.

    I agree with ClarasDK that there appears to be more value in having Rodger play out his contract and provide a year's worth of insurance than there would be in trading him for a late draft pick.
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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    This is a bussiness decision for him, he don't care about winning there is more money to be made at LT and he knows his move back to RT will hurt him come FA next year.
    I could totally understand that, and considering how short NFL careers are I can't say many people would think differently.

    That all said, he's in no position to bargain, and while being moved back to RT may appear set him back when FA arrives, holding out, or demanding a trade would have only hurt him worse.

    The only logical move for him is to play his best. I would argue that he has already proved he can play LT, so all he has to do is prove that he can remain healthy for a season. Acting like a ***** would never have gotten him anywhere.

    In the end, I think most of this is media/fan generated hype and it's great that the issue has been finally put to rest ... what Saffold wants to do next year will become apparent next year

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    This is a bussiness decision for him, he don't care about winning there is more money to be made at LT and he knows his move back to RT will hurt him come FA next year.
    Really? Kind of presumptuous of you to assume he does not care about winning. Where is it written that you you can't be interested in maximizing your financial position and care about winning at the same time?
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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    I'd love nothing more than to see Saffold play out his contract, have a solid year, and then embrace playing RT for the Rams, but I don't get the impression that will happen. If he indeed doesn't want to play on the right side and would like to go elsewhere, I certainly wouldn't mind seeing him traded if the opportunity is there.

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude View Post
    Really? Kind of presumptuous of you to assume he does not care about winning. Where is it written that you you can't be interested in maximizing your financial position and care about winning at the same time?
    I don't have a problem with him maximizing his financial position but if playing R/T will make the rams better why all the buzz with him not wanting to play R/T. He could play R/T finnished the year test the F/A get what he thinks he is worth but he must think this will hurt his negotiation position therefore he don't want to play there R/T even if it will make the rams better ie who cares about winning this is about him getting paid.
    Last edited by eldfan; -04-11-2013 at 08:10 AM.
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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Not necessarily. There is plenty of film of Rodger at the LT position for coaches in need of a left tackle to evaluate. The Rams pulled the trigger on what they perceived to be an opportunity to upgrade the LT position. Barring injury issues, they appear to have succeeded. Whether Rodger hits the FA market next year, or is traded to another team, I am sure his agent will make clear Rodger's desire to remain at LT, it isn't as if he stinks as a left tackle.

    By accepting the position move albeit reluctantly, I don't see it hurting his chances to play LT for another team. In fact if he plays well at RT, he will demonstrate his versatility. If Saffold plays well along with the rest of the team, it should translate into a winning season thus making him more desirable as a FA acquistion for another team.

    I agree with ClarasDK that there appears to be more value in having Rodger play out his contract and provide a year's worth of insurance than there would be in trading him for a late draft pick.
    I agree with your points but from his action he has to believe playing R/T is not in his best interest
    :ramlogo:

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    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post

    I agree with your points but from his action he has to believe playing R/T is not in his best interest
    What "action"?

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    Re: No holdout coming from Saffold over switch to RT

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    What "action"?
    If you believe this original post is mostly hearsay or rumors than all this buzz over him not wanting to play R/T is a lie. If that is the case this entire post is a waste of time, my apologies.
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