Rodger Saffold barely lasted a day in the Silver and Black. Per multiple sources, he has failed his physical, and his absurd $42.5 million contract with $21 million guaranteed was voided.
Sources cite his shoulder injury was not fully healed. Although, Mike Silver of NFL Network reports that Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis shut down the deal and ordered a failing of the physical. Saffold could have had surgery and been ready by training camp, but Davis wanted to cancel it and not wait for surgery.
It obviously black mark on a franchise that has been in the league’s dumpster for a decade. The silver lining is that now they won’t waste high left tackle money on a guard attempting to be a tackle, and get their money back.
The bad part is now they are left without a left tackle. The only tackles left on the market are Anthony Collins, Charles Brown, Marshall Newhouse, Bryant McKinnie, Will Svitek, and Will Yeatman. Collins is the best option, but he is already narrowed down to Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, and Carolina, although Reggie McKenzie could throw hordes of money at him as well. The rest are substandard options who will bring flashbacks of Alex Barron and Mario Henderson to Oakland.
Oakland let their best LT option walk in Jared Veldheer, who signed for less money in Arizona than Oakland offered Saffold. Now all Oakland has to put on the blindside of whichever poor soul takes a snap is Menelik Watson, who the coaching staff apparently had no faith in at right tackle as they signed Austin Howard.
And don’t expect Austin Howard to move over to the blindside. He was rated an average blocker for New York as a right tackle. Tackles don’t generally get better if they’re promoted.
Although the Raiders do have the fifth pick, which puts them in prime consideration for top offensive tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews, taking an offensive tackle that early would be a major mistake. Oakland has deep holes at QB, RB, OG, DE, DT, CB, and FS; as well as minor needs to upgrade WR, TE, and LB. Jadaveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and HaHa Clinton Dix are much more reasonable options at five.
Honestly, Oakland could probably get by with using Watson at left tackle, as long as he’s healthy. And Reggie McKenzie is probably happy he doesn’t have to pay $21 million guaranteed to Rodger Saffold now.