The Oakland Raiders had a rather rough go of things on their second day of free agency. Rather than bringing in more names, the team wound up saying good-bye to their biggest signing only one day after bringing him in.
The big news surrounding the Raiders on Wednesday was that Rodger Saffold, the guy general manager Reggie McKenzie brought in to be the team’s new left tackle, failed his physical and was not signed by the Raiders. Or so the story told by the Raiders goes. But since that news broke, there has been non-stop rumors about what really happened.
From a ridiculous conspiracy theory (Saffold failed his physical on purpose) to the more likely rumor that Mark Davis pulled the plug on the deal, there is nothing good surrounding these events. There is really no positive spin to put on what happened from a Raiders perspective.
Soon after failing his physical with the Raiders, Saffold re-signed with the St. Louis Rams.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Saffold’s new contract is a five-year, $31.7 million deal that includes $19.5 million guaranteed. So the failed physical cost Saffold $1.5 million in guaranteed money, and $10.8 million over the length of the five-year deal.
Hopefully, the Raiders can simply move on from the bad news with some good news today. On Wednesday night, while all of the drama was unfolding, the Raiders were reportedly having dinner with free agent defensive end Justin Tuck and free agent linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Though both guys are getting up there in age, they would also represent significant upgrades to a Raiders defense that is essentially nonexistent.
Neither guy signed with the Raiders overnight, but Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that things are moving in the right direction.
Giants could still be in play for Tuck … and there are physicals … but things moving nicely in right direction w/ Tuck and Woodley. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 13, 2014
As bad as things got with the Saffold signing/voiding, all of that will be forgotten if the Raiders land two huge upgrades to their defense. People will need not to worry about free agents who don’t want to come to Oakland. Sure, those guys will exist, but these would be two players who had other options and chose the Raiders.
If, however, the Raiders watch these two sign elsewhere today, which is very possible, things could start to look incredibly bleak in Oakland.