With the signing of Jake Long, the St. Louis Rams have formed a line that Sam Bradford and their running backs should be proud to have blocking for them. However, one member of the Rams new front five might not be as thrilled as most with the newest addition.
Rodger Saffold will be moved to right tackle or maybe even guard this season, if he's still on the team. It would be a surprise if he wasn't a part of the Rams this season, because he doesn't have much leverage to ask for a trade or hold out.
Saffold has a legitimate beef. He held down the left tackle spot solidly, when healthy. But that's neither here nor there. We have been talking about what happens when Long joins the team, but nothing about what happens to their former left tackle. Here's every realistic scenario available to Saffold.
1. Move to Right Tackle
The most popular move seems to be Saffold at right tackle. This makes the most sense, since Saffold was drafted in 2010 to start right tackle, but instead beat former Ram Jason Smith for that position. Playing on the right side is a little different than playing on the left. Still, he would most likely be an upgrade over last year's starter Barry Richardson.
2. Move to Left Guard
Another position on the Rams offensive line that Saffold could move to is guard. This too has been talked about on the internet since his rookie year. The question becomes could he play guard. That's pretty hard to answer before he at least practices there, this scouting report mentions that he could kick inside.
3. Leave the Rams via trade
Apparently, the talk of Saffold wanting a trade was mainly from his agent. What's important is if the Rams think Saffold will re-sign with the team in 2014.
Saffold could easily suck up not being a left tackle this season, and head to wherever the money trail takes him when his contract ends. The Rams could trade Saffold during the draft, and at least receive some compensation for him.
After this season
1. Re-sign with the Rams
It's still possible that bad feelings can be, and have been, forgotten. Saffold would return to the Rams, at whatever position that he plays this season. This move would help out both parties, would also keep a very solid player in St. Louis.
2. Leave via free agency
This option wouldn't surprise anyone. Honestly, Saffold is young, and although he's had a couple of bad injuries, he's still played left tackle at a good enough level to earn a raise over his rookie contract. If Saffold plays well at a new position with the Rams, that would also raise his stock; teams love versatile players.
These are the options left for the Rams and Rodger Saffold. I've been a fan of Saffold in the past, but as we have seen this off-season, this new regime could let any player walk, especially a player that they didn't invest in. Anything could happen between now and next years off-season, remember this is the NFL, if the Baltimore Ravens can win the Super Bowl, then anything is possible.