2013 New Orleans Saints Free Agency, Team Transactions, Who Dat TN, Who Dat Warriors Original Content, WhoDat Nation

UPDATE – Saffold Open To Trade; Draft Day Deal Possible

How Jake Long And The Rams Could Benefit The Saints

Rams LT Rodger Saffold

You would have a hard time right now finding a member of the Who Dat Nation that isn’t feeling some level of anxiety or at least curiosity over how the Saints will fill the void at starting left tackle. Despite what some may want you to believe, Charles Brown is not the answer to losing Jermon Bushrod. However, the answer may be in St. Louis.

Jake long has been in St. Louis since Tuesday going through the process of trying to reach an agreement with the Rams to become their new starting left tackle. While this would be great news for the Jeff Fisher & Co., it’s not so great for at least one member of the team. Current starting left tackle Rodger Saffold seems to be none to pleased with this potential move. The Rams have hinted that they would move Saffold to another position along the line if Long joins the team. According to Bob Glauber of Newsday yesterday, Saffold would “likely” seek a trade before playing another position.

Saffold’s agent Alan Herman came out this morning and tried to walk the story back a little bit, but ended up reaffirming his client’s feelings about changing positions. “I’m sure if you would ask Rodger what position he’d want to play, he’d want to be a left tackle,” Herman told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis-Post Dispatch. “That’s his position. It’s a paying position in the league. He’s played left tackle his whole life since he was a little kid. Why would he want to move to the other side?” Herman did stop short of mentioning a trade though. “See what happens, and we go from there. If they sign the guy, I’m sure Rodger’s going to be the first one to say: ‘I want to be a left tackle.’ What happens at that point?”

While there’s no guarantee the Rams would honor the request, Saffold would definitely be affordable in a trade seeing as he is only getting paid $780K in the final year of his rookie contract. If a trade actually were requested, St. Louis could end up facing a more difficult decision than some think. If they traded him, they would be losing a commodity they have faith in but would at least get soemthing in return. If they kept him, they would get another year of service out of someone they feel is dependable but would likely significantly decrease the odds of re-signing him next year after forcing him to move to a position he doesn’t want to play. In this case they would still end up losing Saffold and get nothing in return for him. Which is more valuable: the one year or a return on their time and training investment?

If the Rams did decide to trade him, the Saints could certainly offer fair compensation. Fisher is still in need of a proven running back that could serve as a backup to second-year RB Daryl Richardson. The Saints currently have five running backs and no starting left tackle. Sending Chris Ivory to St. Louis would fill a need for the and Ivory would likely agree to the move since it give him a shot at more playing time. In addition to Ivory, add a conditional pick in the 2014 draft. The round would be conditioned on Ivory’s health and performance. Due to Saffold only having one year left on his contract, it shouldn’t be hard to get away with a later round pick like a 5th or 6th depending on Ivory.

Sure there are a number of options still available on the free agent market, but the ones that are worth the money are drawing considerable attention. Even more importantly, there are no free agents worthy of starting at left tackle that are going to sign for $780K. While some may not like giving up a fan favorite plus one of next year’s draft picks, filling the hole left along the offensive line is far more important at this point and is not an easy task in this tight cap year. This deal would complete the line and actually lower our cap figure at the same time. It just makes too much sense not to go for it.

UPDATE 1:14 am 3/18/13: Long has agreed to contract terms with the Rams. The contract terms are 4yrs/$34M with incentives pushing it as high as $36M. Now we will have to see if Saffold asks for a trade as expected and if St. Louis indeed grant the request.

UPDATE 12:51 pm 3/29/13: According to a new report today by Thomas, Saffold has not returned any calls or spoken to the team since Long signed 11 days ago. “We’ve been trying to reach Rodger, and he’s not returning calls right now,” Fisher stated. When asked if a trade had been requested yet, he responded “No. It’s just been quiet. And we’re trying to reach Rodger just like we’re trying to reach all of our other players. We stay in touch with our players. Maybe he’s traveling and is on his way back.” In addition, Rams General Manager Les Snead has stated that the team has not ruled out taking an offensive tackle high in the draft.

UPDATE 4:21 pm 4/2/13: Per Thomas’ Twitter feed, the Rams have hosted offensive tackle Terron Armstead and are scheduled to host offensive tackle Kyle Long. Armstead, who grew up across the river in Cahokia, IL, and Long, younger brother of Rams starting defensive end Chris Long, are both projected to be mid-second round picks.

UPDATE 10:44 pm 4/10/13: According to Thomas’ latest article on the matter, people close to Saffold have said he will not hold out from the Rams’ off-season program including their voluntary workouts. He will fulfill the terms of his contract as long as he is with the team. However, Saffold’s representatives have made it clear to the team that is open to a trade according to one league source. While he currently has no real leverage to force a trade, Thomas believes there is the possibility of a draft-day trade. The Rams currently have upcoming visits scheduled with three more offensive tackle prospects. Alabama’s D.J. Fluker, Florida State’s Menelik Watson and Virginia’s Oday Aboushi are all projected as right tackles, possibly leaving Saffold out of a position altogether. With only one year left on Saffold’s contract, Thomas feels that a fourth round pick would be appropriate. To see the entire article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, click here.

About Who Dat TN

A New Orleans native currently residing in Tennessee following Hurricane Katrina. Regardless of location, I'll bleed black & gold until the day I die. Follow on Twitter: @whodattn


19 Responses to “UPDATE – Saffold Open To Trade; Draft Day Deal Possible”

  1. I’m a die hard Ivory fan.
    I wouldn’t trade him.
    5 yards per carry and no fumbles last year.
    Most follies will get the ball ripped out until they realize the power and skill sets against them in the NFL.
    If he is traded he will gain 1000 yds
    As far as being injury prone, I’m not sure of the science behind all that.
    Yes he runs hard but he may have been unlucky with the injuries.
    Beat me up if you want but I love the energy this guy brings.
    If you like 1 yard through the A gap go and trade him.
    PS draft 5. Defensive players with speed. Buy a pass rusher and restructure Brees.

    Posted by danrob | March 29, 2013, 2:43 pm
    • Ok, let’s try facts now:

      Freshman, WSU: 85 yards; sprained ankle (3 games missed)
      Sophomore, WSU: 313 yards; bruised right shoulder (4 games missed)
      Junior, WSU: 136 yards; hamstring (final 8 games missed)
      Senior, Tiffin: 223 yards; knee (final 6 games missed)
      2010: 12 games, 716 yards; knee (training camp), separated shoulder, hamstring, Lisfranc (I.R.); responsible for 4 of the team’s 9 fumbles and 2 of 5 lost fumbles
      2011: 6 games, 374 yards; foot surgery/sports hernia (PUP list)
      2012: 6 games, 217 yards

      Last season was his first healthy season since at least high school and all it took was holding him to only 40 carries. That’s not “unlucky”, that’s a chronic problem. A 1000 yd season is a fairy tale. He’s only topped 400 yds once in his college and pro career and he required 11 months to recover from it.

      By the way, restructuring Brees is the last thing Loomis should do. Doing so will put the Saints in even worse cap position than this season for years to come.

      Posted by whodattn | March 29, 2013, 6:55 pm
      • Good breakdown on the Ivory numbers TN. As far as Brees restructuring, wait a couple of years when his cap hit is truly through the roof.

        Posted by egghead | March 29, 2013, 7:29 pm
      • Great info on Ivory. I appreciate the research.
        Still think he ignites the needed passion.

        Posted by danrob | March 29, 2013, 9:02 pm
  2. A trade would basically assure that pick is on defensive player. Actually the whole draft could go on Defense, after Watson’s signing. Lets see

    Posted by bondcrash | March 18, 2013, 1:35 pm
  3. Well TN looks like Long pulled the trigger and went to the Rams. Your idea could be true situation to consider.

    Posted by manningwho | March 17, 2013, 11:37 pm
    • Now that Long has finally done a deal, let’s see if St. Louis puts Saffold out as trade bait.

      Posted by whodattn | March 18, 2013, 1:09 am
      • Okay Saffold, then Reed, or Dumervil. With a low ball signing, we could make a major play on the other two. I’m just wondering how good Saffold is at protecting, since Bradford got beat up a lot early in his career. Or would this be for LT depth behind Brown?

        Posted by manningwho | March 18, 2013, 1:22 am
  4. Interesting take on that TN. Would that make ML almost a genius if such a deal happens?

    Posted by manningwho | March 14, 2013, 9:09 pm
    • Picking up a starting quality tackle for under a million while also lowering the cap? Certainly would impress me.

      Posted by whodattn | March 14, 2013, 9:49 pm
      • nice read, bub…….cheers!

        Posted by UKWhoDat | March 14, 2013, 10:41 pm
        • I figure even the Ivory diehards would have a hard time arguing with this one. Too good to pass up if it comes available.

          Posted by whodattn | March 14, 2013, 11:10 pm
  5. Streif is the starting right tackle and Ivory was tendered at a 2nd round level at a price of over 2 million so when he signs it he would count 2 million against the cap if a longer term deal wasn’t worked out.

    Posted by Kevin | March 14, 2013, 6:31 pm
  6. That scenario depends, though, on whether Payton and Loomis are satisfied with flipping Charles Brown over to the left side and trying out, say, Zach Strief as starting RT, and whether they are really able to shop Ivory around. Also, isn’t is true that Ivory, because he was undrafted, wouldn’t count for or against the cap even if he was traded?

    Posted by RGC_BPPA_AnthonyJK (@RGC_BPPA) | March 14, 2013, 2:21 pm
    • What position was Strief playing before?

      Posted by bondcrash | March 14, 2013, 3:58 pm
    • Ok, just a few things:
      1) Charles Brown is not specifically a left or right tackle. He’s a backup. He fills in where needed.
      2) Zach Strief has been the Saints’ starting right tackle for the past two seasons.
      3) Ivory would be easy to shop. He was highly sought after before last season’s trade deadline and leading up to this year’s free agency period.
      4) I have never heard any rule even close to allowing a player to not count against the cap due to their draft status.

      Posted by whodattn | March 14, 2013, 7:36 pm

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