It only took one signing for the Oakland Raiders to have optimism about the upcoming season.
Unfortunately, it only took one bad shoulder for the Raiders to become dumb-founded.
Oakland decided to let left tackle Jared Veldheer walk in free agency and signed St. Louis offensive lineman Rodger Saffold to a $42.5 million contract. Saffold failed a physical on Wednesday, and he will return to St. Louis.
According to St Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Jim Thomas, Saffold dislocated his shoulder during St. Louis’ preseason game against Cleveland on August 8. He missed the second preseason game as a result of that injury, but played in the Rams’ final two preseason games and into the regular season.
Saffold reportedly passed his exit physical after the regular season, but Oakland’s doctors said he would need immediate surgery to repair the shoulder. That diagnosis led to Saffold’s contract being voided.
"He (Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie) apologized profusely," Alan Herman, Saffold’s agent, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I shared my displeasure in very strong terms. Jared and I were sitting there in disbelief. We got out of the building and we got back to the hotel."
It was a tough pill to swallow considering St. Louis and Tampa Bay actively pursued Saffold, but he decided to play for Oakland instead.
St. Louis is currently working on a deal to re-sign Saffold, who was flown into St. Louis with his family on Thursday by Rams executive vice-president Kevin Demoff. Herman expects the contract to be solidified by Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Oakland has witnessed Veldheer and Saffold leave during free agency.
"For the most part it's done," Herman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We've just got to iron out a few of the incentives that we're working on. But we basically have the framework of the deal. I don't want to release the framework now only because after going through this I just would like to get there (in St. Louis) and make sure we understand what we've talked about. . . .This is one of the craziest stories ever.”
St. Louis and Oakland’s doctors may disagree on Saffold’s shoulder, but they probably agree with Herman’s assessment about this story.
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